/ Money, Technology

Would you be happy to say goodbye to passwords?


Barclays phone banking customers will be able to use voice recognition technology instead of passwords as security checks. So are we seeing the beginning of the end of passwords?

The name of a first pet, a river in Northumberland or the first song played at your wedding may seem to have little in common. But they are all among the things people in our office have used to create online security passwords…

Password problems

In my own case, you could probably put together a fairly accurate (though not very interesting) biography of my life from passwords I’ve used over the years. I must confess, I’ve previously raided family names, nicknames and birthdays in an effort to make them memorable.

This is of course a classic security error. While it might be pretty tough to guess the name of the first song at your wedding (in this case the unfortunately named ‘Runaway’ by The Corrs), family names are all too easy to guess or find out.

But let’s face it, when you have to come up with and remember passwords for dozens of different websites many of us have at some time taken a security shortcut.

Although it’s still hard to believe that the three most used passwords of last year were‘123456’, ‘qwerty’ and ‘password’…

We’ve previously set our computer helpdesk the challenge of creating the perfect online password but even if you do create secure and unguessable passwords, there is the question of how many you actually need to have.

There’s no getting around it, having to remember multiple passwords is a pain, which is perhaps one reason many people now use password manager websites.

Another shortcut some try is to either use the same two or three passwords across different sites, which of course has its own issues. And I’ve even heard of people who use different groups of passwords for different sites – different types of animals for financial sites for example. Though even then you’ve still got to remember whether cat or dog means NatWest.

The end of the password?

Well alternatives to passwords seem certain to play an ever-increasing role. Other banks, including HSBC, are set to follow with using voice recognition, while other websites, apps and phones are starting to use fingerprints to verify identities.

But for now it certainly seems that passwords and the problem of creating ones that are both secure and easy to remember are set to stay for now.

Do you have a failsafe system for remembering your passwords? Would you be happy to see the back of them?

chris says:
2 September 2016

good share

Gillie says:
25 April 2018

WHICH Do you plan to review Password Managers?


You mean ones like Last Pass Gillie that was hacked? Guess where Last Pass store them ?- the Cloud by no means the super “invulnerable” place its made out to be. The good points are its stored in the one place and you don’t have to remember a whole string of passwords –the bad points are –its stored in the one place and needs only one password to access it. This is down to computer security, a Keylogger makes it all look stupid if your computer is inheritably unsafe or your sloppy and don’t take care then it’s going to get hacked eventually. I am certainly not trying to frighten you just being realistic and telling you what the adverts WONT tell you. Where do I keep my passwords ? in a Reporters Notepad written down –try hacking that. I could add a lot more but maybe Which will do a convo on it so I will save my comments for the future.


Hi Gillie, we don’t have any plans to review password managers at the moment, but I have passed your comments on to our tech team.