Forget Me Not: The Future of Passwords

Privacy in the digital age has been a hot-button topic for some time now, and as we touched upon in last week’s look at the Rise of Paranoia Apps, fear and paranoia seems to have reached a fever pitch through technology. The recent NSA scandal has Millennials, along with all consumers, reflecting on digital privacy and protection. The generation known for sharing everything cares more about privacy than previously assumed. They may not be able to stop government eavesdropping, but we already know that many Millennials are incredibly savvy about protecting their privacy online from parents, teachers and employers. As concerns about privacy grow, we can expect that they will develop and find more intense ways to keep outsiders out of their digital content. We can also expect that privacy concerns will increasingly be focused on their mobile devices, as they rely on them more, and as a rising amount of their personal data is stored on smartphones and tablets. Not surprisingly, in this culture of fear and digital protection obsession, we have noticed a fascination with new and futuristic-sounding concepts for password protection. It could be that very soon finger swipes and four digit pass-codes will be considered antiquated ways of protecting the wealth of data in your phone. In fact, passwords are so troubling to consumers (too many to remember, annoying rules to keep track of) that the future of passwords may be not having passwords at all. Here are a few of the ways password/authentication technology could be amped up in the near future.
 

1. Expression Unlock: Google’s facial recognition technology Face Unlock was initially praised and then criticized upon release for its ability to be too easily hacked with a photo of the person. But advances in the technology are already on the…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “When I hear the phrase ‘The American Dream' I think…A loaded term that is meaningless these days. At this point, I'd be happy if I can manage to live a mostly comfortable, independent life. Is that The American Dream? I don't know.” –Male, 25, PA

When it comes to kids using tablets and smartphones, most of the attention is given to the dangers of it all: what will it do to their attention spans, their minds, or their health? But there are potential positives to their mobile use as well. One (Millennial) mom’s reasons for continuing to give her kids handheld devices include the importance of encouraging their technology and problem solving skills, expectations that they will know how to use them in school, and a hope that her girls will be involved in tech in their futures. (Hip Mombrarian)

This might be the year that vending machines became a full blown marketing trend, and Nike has put their own athletic spin on the tactic. Their recent “secret” vending machine in NYC, the Nike+ FuelBox, dispensed products like hats, shirts, and socks that visitors could only pay for with daily points from their Nike+ FuelBands, encouraging exercise in exchange for goods. (Engadget)

We’ve seen FoMo, the rise and fall of YOLO, and now social media has given us MoMo, the “Mystery of Missing Out.” Unlike FoMo, Fear of Missing Out when you see your friends posting a ton of fun pictures on social media, MoMo is the anxiety that results when friends stop posting. In the words of one Millennial, “’what can be so good that they aren't posting?’” It might seem silly to some, but for a generation used to being connected with friends nearly all the time, the feeling of exclusion that results from being left out and unaware of what’s happening is real. (Jezebel)

The value of higher education is already being questioned by Millennials, and evidence is continuing to mount that college systems and hierarchies need to be rethought. One former Yale professor is making headlines by telling parents not to send their kids to Ivy League schools, and that those who attend are not the “winners in the race we have made of childhood” but that instead elite education produces “anxious, timid, and lost” young people. (New Republic)

Oh, Barbie. She's had a rough year, and Mattel recently released an Entrepreneur Barbie in an attempt to tap into girl power marketing, and revive flagging sales. But is the reality that Barbie is just too perfect for today’s kids? The brand’s offbeat, weirdo Monster High dolls do far better than pristine, “clean cut” blond icon. Tapping into new trends in toy tech and giving Barbie a renewed sense of “imaginative play” might help, but at the same time post-Millennials, like the generation before them, could be turned off by anything that doesn’t show some flaws. (The StarPhoenix)

Quote of the Day: “When I hear the phrase ‘The American Dream’ I think of 1950s cliches, the economic downturn of 2008, and how college debt has pretty much made it impossible.” –Female, 17, RI

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