Here I am on my day off perusing the internets. I’m just wandering wherever my mind takes me – searching for news on topics I like – looking for new projects I can try when I finish the 19 I’m working on currently – searching for fixes of issues I’ve [not] been dealing with for the last four months.
Then I find something of interest.
Ooh – look! A website with a bunch of white hat hacking tutorials! I have two hours to waste watching these cool –
Please sign in
Son of a —!
Alright. I get that security is important. I certainly need to be secure when trusting a website with my personal information. And my financial information. Makes complete sense. But why do I need to have an account to access free information?
To Sell Stuff to People
The only reason these sites require accounts is so someone can sell me something. They offer free information in exchange for my email address. They sell my email address to third parties for money. Third parties can now spam my email with advertisements in hopes they will catch a fish on their spam hook.
It really is security
Another reason may be for security. Not my security as a visitor to their site, but their security from bots and malicious hackers.
The Cost of Accounts
I used to use a single password for all my online accounts. Ah, how innocent I and the world wide web were!
Now I require a database to store all my passwords.
Not just a file.
Not just a little database.
I need a big database with hundreds of entries for the hundreds of websites I use on a regular basis. And as more and more of our lives are moved to “the cloud”, the bigger our password databases will need to be.
What is the answer?
What can we do to make this easier on everyone? How does one person validate their identity with hundreds of websites?
Is biometrics the answer? Can we just log in by pressing our finger to a sensor? It seems like it would make things easier on us. But is it just as secure as passwords and login names?
I don’t have any answers. Only questions.
But one thing I do know. My database will only get larger. And so will yours.