Nancy’s Tech Talk: Fingerprint, facial recognition & passwords

By Nancy Pagé 

Passwords present a huge problem in the tech world. Remembering a list of complicated scrambles containing upper case letters, numbers, and symbols can cause many a headache and wasted hours. Those scraps of paper with your child’s year of birth and your favourite pet’s name written down, then scratched out and changed, can be thrown away. Does the number go before or after the dog’s name? Is there a question mark or dollar sign in the middle or at the end of the combination? Which letter is in uppercase? 

Where is that piece of paper anyway? There is a solution. Passwords are necessary – yes, you do have one for your email but never have to enter it because it was saved somewhere, somehow in cyberspace. What if you could use one very simple four digit easy-to-remember passcode and record a fingerprint and/or face ID. Doing this can give access to all of the passwords stored in your device. Apple, Google, and Microsoft, to name a few, can store passwords to be accessed whenever needed. You must give permission to let this happen and yes, it is safe if a well-known company such as the above-mentioned, saves your precious passwords.

The alternative to using your memory or bits of crumpled paper is to use facial or fingerprint recognition. On the iPad or iPhone, tap on Settings, FaceID & Passcode. Set up a simple passcode and follow instructions to set this up. Slide to turn on ‘AutoFill Passwords’ – or manually add passwords. When completed, tap Settings, Passwords, and quickly find saved password. Passwords can also be saved in Microsoft Edge or Google as well as other secure applications.