That's why Dashlane starts with the premise that passwords are here to stay, so how can we better secure them. Dashlane's solution encrypts all of a consumer's passwords and lets them use an auto-login on sites like Amazon (AMZN) and Apple (AAPL) to call up their encrypted password. In essence, Dashlane turns the consumer's master password into multiple, more secure passwords that make it harder to hack into an account.
Dashlane's certainly not the only one trying to solve the problems with passwords -- there's 1Password, LastPass, and KeePass, to name a few. The key for all of these solutions is adding a multilayered approach to the traditional password.
Lorrie Cranor, a professor at the Computer Science and Engineering & Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, thinks the use of password managers is one of the feasible solutions for achieving more secure passwords without having users remember all the different combinations of numbers and letters themselves.
While it may seem like a safer idea to ask consumers to change passwords on their own, Cranor believes that could lead to even more problems.
"Asking users to change their password every 90 days just leads to weaker passwords," she said. "Password policies should balance security and usability. Our research finds that you can achieve fairly strong and usable passwords by requiring 12 to 16 characters and 2 or 3 character classes from the 4 character classes possible (uppercase, lowercase, digit, symbol). The non-lowercase letters should be spread out in the middle of the password and not at the beginning or end."
For frequently changing passwords and encrypting them in managers, another solution is to combine multiple methods of authentication.
"Passwords reflect 'what we know' and biometrics reflects 'what we are,'" Prasant Mohapatra, a computer science professor at the University of California Davis, said. "The downside of passwords are: they are unsafe if chosen easy, and they are cumbersome if chosen complex. The downside of biometrics is that, once stolen, they cannot be replaced. So the future will rely on multifactor authentication, which will involve a combination of both what we know and who we are."
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--Written by Rebecca Borison in New York