Microsoft is now proclaiming that users of all its services can forget their passwords, and perform passwordless login securely to any of the company’s digital products and online services.
Passwordless login support is now available for all Microsoft accounts. The company is offering several methods to ditch the passwords, including the Authenticator app, Windows Hello, hardware security key, and codes.
All Microsoft account holders can now retire passwords and adopt new, simpler yet highly secure login methods:
Microsoft is now confident with its passwordless authentication and secure login protocols. The company started offering the freedom to forget passwords back in March.
The privilege was limited to commercial customers and businesses. Still, Microsoft claimed over 150 million users were securely logging into their Azure Active Directory and Microsoft accounts without passwords.
— Prashant (@projon_0590) March 2, 2021
Moving ahead, the same freedom will be available to the general public. In other words, whoever uses any Microsoft account, can opt for passwordless login platforms.
Microsoft has reportedly announced that users do not need to keep a password for their accounts. Instead of passwords, users can rely on the Microsoft Authenticator app, Windows Hello, a security key, or phone/email verification codes.
— The Verge (@verge) September 15, 2021
Users can choose any of the above techniques to securely log into Microsoft Edge or Microsoft 365 apps and services, claimed Liat Ben-Zur, Microsoft Corporate Vice President:
“Now you can remove the password from your Microsoft account and sign in using passwordless methods like Windows Hello, the Microsoft Authenticator mobile app or a verification code sent to your phone or email. This feature will help to protect your Microsoft account from identity attacks like phishing while providing even easier access to the best apps and services like Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, OneDrive, Family Safety, Microsoft Edge, and more.”
Why is Microsoft ditching passwords, and how to passwordless login into an account?
Passwords were once the security key for online accounts. However, many people have been very unhygienic and careless with their passwords.
Several security experts have time and again warned about poor password hygiene. Interestingly, even when Internet companies insisted on complex passwords, users found creative ways to mess with the system.
— Microsoft (@Microsoft) September 15, 2021
While there were once limited options to log in securely, technology has surged ahead in recent times. Smartphones with fingerprint and Face ID, emails, hardware security keys, etc. are some of the multiple methods to establish and authenticate identity.
Microsoft is making use of multiple such technologies to go passwordless. Meanwhile, other companies like Google are trying their own techniques.
NEW: Microsoft announced today that it will let users completely remove passwords from consumer accounts and go passwordless
Instead of a password, users can select to use:
— Catalin Cimpanu (@campuscodi) September 15, 2021
To go passwordless for a Microsoft account, first install the Microsoft Authenticator app. Then link the app to the personal Microsoft account.
Once synced, sign in through the Microsoft Account page. To turn on the ‘Passwordless Account” go to Advanced Security Options > Additional Security Options. Follow the on-screen prompts.
— Paul Thurrott (@thurrott) September 15, 2021
Users will have to approve the notification that the Authenticator app will display on the smartphone on which the app is installed. Microsoft is offering a lot more information on its support website.