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: “There's been a resurgence in the home cook, and that's been my biggest interest. There's increasing amounts of high-quality, interesting produce and recipes to use.”—Male, 29 ,NC

Millennial moms are a coveted demographic for marketers, but are ads missing the mark when portraying them? A recent global study found that advertisers “may be overestimating the value women place on appearances during early motherhood:” only 30% of new mothers and pregnant women would use “beautiful” to describe themselves, but 63% say marketers have used the term to described people like them. These “airbrushed version[s] of motherhood,” could cost brands consumers, as six in 10 Millennial moms stating they rather see real moms in ads instead of actors. (Campaign US)

The financial crisis has triggered distrust between Millennials and financial institutions, negatively affecting traditional banks. At first glance the future of banks looks grim: 71% of Millennials would rather go to the dentist than to the bank, 73% are more interested in financial services from Google and Amazon than established banks, and 33% believed they won’t need banks in five years. However, banks have the opportunity to cater to Millennials by putting digital first: 74% say mobile banking is very important to them, and 40% said they rather communicate with banks via email and websites. (Avoka

When we asked Millennials and teens what would make them eat at McDonald’s, customization and variety was one theme we uncovered, and the chain is making changes to give them what they want. The brand’s new “Create Your Taste” effort uses touch-screen kiosks that allow for ordering one-of-kind burgers with “multiple bun options, specialty sauces, and unique toppings.” Presentation and quality are also on par with fast casual restaurants: burgers and fries are served in “trendy metal mesh basket[s],” and the ingredients are reportedly “of shockingly good quality.” The update is a continuation of McDonald’s turnaround plan, which introduced all-day breakfast last year and revived sales. (Business Insider

Brands looking to work with digital influencers should take note: There is actually a possibility of being too popular online. Once social media influencers reach a “critical mass” of followers, audience engagement begins decreasing, and continues to drop as their follower count rises. However, “micro-influencers,” or accounts that have a following between the 10,000-100,000 range, “get an average of two-to-five times more organic engagement per Instagram post, compared to those with more than 100,000 followers.” For these micro-influencers, sponsored posts take a back seat to their personal content, creating a more authentic tone—and they  may present a “sweet spot” for marketers. (Digiday

Obsessee is a media brand with no publication and no website, and it could be the future of magazines for Gen Z. The “fashion-focused digital entity” tailors content to each of the various platforms it lives on, which currently includes Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Spotify, Periscope and Google Plus. This native content multi-platform approach was conceived when research showed 14-22-year-olds avoid websites, prefer content on social media channels, and would rather get information from individuals instead of brands. Obsessee conversational, positive content targets Gen Z values: “approachability, inclusivity and authenticity.” (Fashionista

Quote of the Day: “I like shopping at Trader Joe’s, because it’s a fun alternative to the usual chain supermarkets to pick up specialty items that are tasty.”—Male, 33, MD

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