We’ve all experienced the frustration of forgetting a password to a critical account and having to go through the lengthy and complicated process of retrieving it or creating a new one. With so many ever-changing guidelines on how to create a secure password, it’s becoming extremely difficult to set and manage an effective credential.
As a result, passwords are paradoxical. They require the ability to produce a string of characters that is secure enough to protect your account, yet simple enough to remember for next time.
Online accounts are crucial for storing, managing, and transferring sensitive information over the internet. Businesses that give users the option to create an account are more likely to receive repeat transactions. Accounts can drastically improve their website’s user experience when an individual’s important data (such as payment and contact information) is conveniently stored on file. On the other hand, more than 30% of online shoppers will abandon their shopping carts when forced to enter a password.
These statements may seem to contradict each other at first glance. However, the simple solution here is to encourage online accounts while simultaneously eradicating the need for passwords.
That’s where passwordless authentication comes in. With passwordless login systems, you can implement a different verification method that doesn’t require users to remember a long string of characters.
In fact, users can log in simply by scanning their fingerprint, entering a temporary code delivered via text message, or authorizing their accounts with email.
If you’re hesitant about implementing passwordless authentication into your website’s security protocol, we’ve put together six powerful reasons why you should explore this innovative practice:
- Increased Security for Users
- Increased Security for Organizations
- Better User Experience
- Decreased Site Abandonment
- Simple Implementation
Keep reading as we discuss the many benefits of passwordless authentication— both to you as a developer, and to your end user. Let’s dive in!
1. Passwordless authentication is more secure for users.
In recent years, there have been hundreds of millions of stolen or hacked passwords. As a result, passwords are becoming a larger part of the problem rather than the solution to keeping users’ information safe.
Additionally, more and more websites require users to create an account, which has led to the average internet user juggling more than 90 personal online accounts. Thus, users who want to remember their login information tend to choose a password they’re comfortable with (such as their birthday or pet’s name) or credentials they’ve used for other accounts.
As a result, these weakened passwords lead to even more insecure accounts. After all, if hackers get access to one account, they can easily obtain access to many, leading to a “domino effect” that puts all of the user’s information at risk.
So what’s the solution? All of these challenges can be better avoided with passwordless authentication, also known as password alternatives. For starters, there are three main types of passwordless authentication systems:
- Email Verification — When the user selects the login button, they’ll be directed to a pre-written email that will authenticate their account. Every email has an individual token attached to it that lets the server link the request to the user and grant them access. This is the most secure of the passwordless login methods, as it builds upon the existing security measures of top email clients— which tend to be much stricter than the average website.
- Social Media Sign-In — Offer users the ability to log in via their existing Facebook, Twitter, or other popular social media account credentials. This reduces the number of passwords that your new users will need to create and remember, and it builds on the security measures built into the social media’s login system.
- Biometric Scanning — Many smartphones have already implemented fingerprint scanning in lieu of (or in addition to) passwords, and your application can potentially use the same technology for your passwordless authentication. Users simply press their thumbs on the fingerprint scanner, which is then compared against a previously stored thumbprint, to gain access. Similarly, facial and iris scanning are becoming popular alternatives as well.
For a more in-depth look at these passwordless login systems, check out our guide to password alternatives.
The important part is that hackers will have more difficulty gaining access to your users’ fingerprints, cell phones, or email accounts than guessing or cracking a string of alphanumeric characters. Therefore, users’ accounts will be more secure than with traditional password protection.
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2. Passwordless authentication is more secure for organizations.
Since you store information on your users’ accounts, payment information, and much more, your user database is significantly more vulnerable to a large-scale attack. When a data breach like this occurs, no amount of password protection will keep your users’ accounts protected.
Cybercriminals can gain access to your user database by cracking the key to your encrypted information much like they would crack a password with a brute-force attack. Additionally, they could gain access by entering through an internal account with high-level permissions.
Since many accounts don’t use secure credentials, this process is a lot easier for hackers than you might think. That’s why it’s not only important for your users to have passwordless authentication but also for your employees.
Thus, you can implement passwordless login systems into your internal accounts so that employees don’t have to deal with the hassle of creating and memorizing a complex password, and so that cybercriminals don’t have the liberty of quickly cracking a simple credential.
By protecting your accounts on both fronts—internally for employees and externally for users—you’ll have a much stronger infrastructure.
3. Passwordless authentication offers a better user experience.
Let’s face it: the most troublesome part of creating an account is thinking of a password and remembering it for the future. So why would you want to put that frustration on your users?
Giving users a simple way to access your website that doesn’t involve memorizing a lengthy string of characters is a great way to encourage your users to engage with and continuously return to your website.
Nowadays, people have to juggle 20+ different passwords, not to mention remember which credentials go to which accounts. Of course, there are tools and tricks people can use to keep track of passwords, but they don’t solve all the challenges users might face.
With passwordless login, users won’t have to worry about creating a difficult password that they can’t remember or having all of their sensitive information compromised. Plus, the entire process can be shortened down to a few simple steps.
Of course, if users are logging in for the first time, they’ll have to fill out a short form with their contact and payment information. After the initial purchase, however, users will be able to complete transactions with a single click!
Moreover, using an email authentication system is something that all your users will have access to. Since this method implements tools most people are familiar with (i.e. an email account), the authentication process is something that is easily accessible and simple to understand.
4. Passwordless authentication decreases site abandonment.
As a business professional, you’re probably well aware of the challenges associated with users abandoning their shopping carts or signup forms prior to finalizing their transactions. In a recent study, 60% of donors left donation forms midway through the process. And although some had the intention of returning, many never did.
There are several factors that can contribute to high abandonment rates, such as:
- Long forms with too many fields
- Complicated steps
- The requirement to create an account
A lot of these factors have to do with time. Users don’t want to spend an unforeseeable amount of time completing a process that very well could take seconds.
Passwordless authentication can help save time, especially if your users are accessing your website’s products and services for the second, third, or fourth time. As previously mentioned, an online account saves users from the hassle of entering contact and payment information over and over again.
Coupled with a system where users don’t have to enter a password every time they want to create or access an account, you can fully optimize your website to keep users from abandoning your forms.
Think about it this way: nonprofit supporters will be much more motivated to give to your fundraiser if the process is quick and easy. And just as brick-and-mortar stores are carefully organized to cater to the customer, so too should your shopping cart and checkout experience be curated to your online shopper or subscriber to your online service.
5. Passwordless authentication is cost-effective.
One of the most common misconceptions about passwordless authentication is that it’s expensive to implement and, thus, not a viable option. That couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, now has never been a better time for companies of all shapes, sizes, and budgets to explore passwordless options.
As you begin your search, you’ll find many low-cost providers for your business or organization. Swoop is a fantastic example of a passwordless login system that’s within reach for all. We offer a basic plan for free that any developer can use to create a secure email verification system. From there, our professional plan begins at only $49/year for up to 10,000 users.
To help you select the best tool for your needs, here are few characteristics to look for when choosing a software vendor with passwordless authentication:
- Top security protocols: One of the main selling points for passwordless authentication is its high levels of security for users and developers alike. That’s why it’s crucial that you find and adopt a solution that utilizes best-in-class standards of security. After all, not all passwordless login methods are created equal! For example, facial recognition software can be tricked with a high-quality image, while email authentication is significantly more secure.
- Customizability: Branding is important for any and every part of your website, and your authentication process is no exception. Therefore, be sure to choose a software provider that allows you to customize your login screen, along with any other steps included in the process, with your logo, color scheme, font choices, etc.
- Mobile-friendly options. It’s important to choose a passwordless authentication provider that offers a solution that can be used on multiple devices. For instance, Swoop’s instant buttons can be incorporated into websites, emails, and applications and used across a variety of devices.
- Responsive customer support. No matter how much you pay for a tool or how well it works, every business will encounter some bumps along the road. With a talented and responsive customer support team, you can have these challenges resolved in no time.
With these characteristics in mind, it’s important to find a provider that meets your needs and is within your budget, while also providing a high-quality product.
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6. Passwordless authentication is simple to implement.
Working with a top-notch provider will also make the implementation process much smoother. For instance, adopting a software solution that’s known for its great customer support means that it can guide you through setting up your passwordless login system and help you smooth out any bumps along the way.
Plus, many passwordless authentication systems can be implemented on your website in mere minutes even if your team has little-to-no coding experience. For example, our Magic Authentication offerings are available for download as a free plugin if your website uses a well-known CMS like WordPress.
Further, we provide easy to follow, step-by-step guides for implementing our email authentication service in your website or application using custom programming languages in our Document Center.
On the other hand, some password alternatives are more difficult to adopt, as we’ve mentioned previously concerning biometric authentication and the hardware required of users. Therefore, if you’re looking for a quick and easy solution, we highly recommend you go with an email-based authentication system.
Now that we’ve covered all the reasons why you should consider passwordless authentication, hopefully, you’ve come to the conclusion that it’s right for your organization. These password alternatives offer users a much better login experience for users, a higher quality security protocol, and it won’t bust your budget.
If you’re interested in learning more about passwordless authentication and other online security tips, check out these additional resources:
- Questions about Passwordless Login Systems: Now that you know all the benefits of password alternatives, you’re probably brimming with questions. Check out this article to learn the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about passwordless login systems.
- WordPress Login Plugins: 10+ Must-Haves for Your Website: Are you interested in top login solutions for any WordPress website? Take a look at this list of our 10+ favorites that can bring your website to the next level with as little as downloading a plugin.
- A Modern Password: 6 Top Tips for A Secure Login Process. Stuck on traditional passwords? Sometimes completely obliterating the password isn’t realistic. In those cases, check out this guide with top tips for setting password guidelines to protect your accounts as much as possible.