My name is Jim Clark; you might remember me as the co-founder of Netscape. First commercial browser? Internet for the masses? Not ringing any bells? The interface through which much of the world saw their first website, and through which a generation of teenagers learned the need to delete their browser history shortly after. But unfortunately, it was also the platform through which much of the world created their first password. Seemed like a good idea at the time.
The passwords that your work makes you change every 30 days. The ones with the exclamation point replacing the “i” and your favorite kid’s birthday at the end (how thoughtful of you). The passwords that get leaked by everyone from your video game system to your email provider. Those passwords that your CEO keeps on sticky notes. Those passwords that need to be easy enough to remember but hard enough to guess so that someone doesn’t steal your entire identity. Passwords you can store in a password manager “vault,” but you have to choose yet another password to access them. Yes, those ones. Sorry about those. I feel a bit responsible.
But I am righting the wrong. After all, what is an apology without a resolution? I have been working with some of the brightest minds in security and cryptography at Beyond Identity to build a better way to authenticate. A way to log in so your applications know who you are without any kind of secret to remember or share. Nothing stored on a server that can get leaked and nothing for hackers to steal and use. I am sorry about the passwords – you won’t need to worry about them anymore. And you still need to delete your browser history.