The Risk of Convenience
Consolidating passwords and other account information can save time, but expose you to risk…
An article review.
Given the amount of account related information that the average person is expected to keep track of–such as account numbers, passwords, PINs and secret questions–it’s no wonder that a convenience like the Fuze Card was such a success on Kickstarter. Fuze allows someone to select which account they’d like to use (from up to 30 stored in its memory) and then reprograms its magnetic strip automatically–essentially becoming the desired credit or debit card.
There’s only one catch, as detailed in an article submitted by our own Chris Dietrich: anyone who gains physical access to the Fuze card can–along with a program on their smartphone–grab all the account data stored on the card. As of the time of this review the security hole has reportedly been patched, but the story still serves as a reminder of the risks one takes when trying to combine convenience with security.
A similar story plays out when it comes to password safes: something that many people increasingly see as a necessity, but which creates a single point of failure which can expose all of your account data. While this is true even if you use an offline password safe, if you want to increase your convenience with a cloud-based safe you’re also increasing your risk.
For many people that trade-off is worth it, and if a suitably strong master password is chosen and kept secure the additional risk may be manageable. In any case, it’s something that should be considered carefully, especially if it is being used to store corporate credentials.
Original article by Thomas Fox-Brewster writing for Forbes.
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