Legendary phone phreaker (and friend of Woz), Captain Crunch, once told me that you can’t have convenience and security. The more convenient something is, the less secure it tends to be. And it’s certainly true that remembering a dozen or so strong and unique passwords for all of the products that we rely on or sign up to every day, is anything but convenient. But then, so is a security breach, of which plenty have been in the news lately. Password managers, on the other hand, claim both convenience and security, and there’s arguably nothing more convenient than storing your data in the cloud.
Enter: my1login, a browser-based password manager that claims ‘stronger encryption technology than most online banking platforms’, but with the convenience of 1-click logins and all passwords stored and accessible from the Cloud. But, of course, those passwords still need to be strong — and generating them for each and every service we use is a pain. My1login’s answer? A sprinkling of gamification, which it rolled out earlier this week.
The way it works is as follows: Users progress through the system based on things like how many strong passwords they generate, how many of these are unique, how many were generated using my1login’s password generator, and how many times a user has shared the service on Twitter, Facebook etc. Achievements are measured in percentage points, with the incentive being that users are awarded more storage — from 5 passwords/logins to unlimited. The latter is on parity with a paid-for premium account.
(Are users really that manipulable? Of course we are, and especially when it’s for our own good).
Mike Newman, co-founder and CEO of my1login thinks that, with the current hacking stories doing the rounds, password managers are about to come into the public’s consciousness. But then, of course, he would say that wouldn’t he.
Excuse me while I go off and turn on Gmail’s 2-step verification. This stuff has got me spooked.