Even the first time I got in contact with a computer I received a username and password. Since then I have had an infinite number of passwords, the same for several different usernames, different but similar and then all the passwords that are simply ”too good” and therefore have been forgotten and had to be replaced. There are a huge amount of time and energy spent on all these passwords.
Four years ago I started working at SecMaker. I was assigned to a computer, but no username. Instead I got a smart card with a PIN that would be used to the elevator, the entrance, the printer – and the computer. My first thought was that I was going to forget the smart card somewhere. Wasn’t it easier with username and password?
It took a couple of days, then I couldn’t think of any other way to log into the computer.
During a working day I go away from the computer very often; to a meeting, to the printer, for lunch and so on. If we would have used username and passwords I would probably have neglected to log out because of the time it takes to log in again. The smart card and PIN makes it much easier; remove the card from the card reader and your session locks down. Insert the card, enter your PIN and you are back at the same session.
What if Facebook, Twitter, G-mail and SAS could introduce smart card support, it would be possible to use the smart card at home and they wouldn’t have to administer millions of passwords.
But it’s getting better! Three weeks ago I signed my tax return using my smart card.