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Microsoft is changing how you log in to your accounts

Washington Post [unpaywalled]: “As passwords slowly go extinct, Microsoft is introducing another way to log in to your consumer account. The company said Thursday that users logging in to Microsoft 365 workplace software, Copilot, Xbox and Skype can now use “passkeys” rather than traditional passwords or an authenticator app. That means whatever biometric authentication (such as a thumbprint or face ID) you use to open your phone or computer will be all you need to access your Microsoft account. Passkeys are available on desktop and mobile browsers starting Thursday, with support for mobile apps in the coming weeks, the company said. Cybersecurity professionals and organizations such as the FIDO Alliance, an industry group that includes Amazon, Apple, Google and Meta, have been pushing consumer tech companies to retire “shared secret” passwords for the past decade. These passwords aren’t so secret — because people have so many to remember, they constantly lose or forget passwords, which leads to lost time and money for consumers and companies alike. Hackers, meanwhile, steal passwords in data breaches. Last year there were more than 3,000 breaches in the United States alone, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. Microsoft says its identity systems detect around 4,000 password attacks each second…”

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