I’m pretty security conscious when it comes to doing stuff on the web (though not as paranoid as some people I know who turn the lights off when they enter a password), I have various strength of passwords depending on the sensitivity of what they’re protecting with my PayPal one being on the “oh god what numbers, symbols and case was that password again”. So it was interesting to read that PayPal are currently trialling security key fobs.
Having worked in the software industry and getting hauled in to do a bit of support from time to time I’m used to working with key fobs and they are a lot easier (and debatable more secure) than passwords. With a security key fob it flashing up a password (usually numbers) that is only valid for 30 seconds (or so) so when you’re asked for a password, enter it from the key fob and hey presto you’re in.
Sorry if I was stating the obvious there (and if not I hope I explained it ok). I find it interesting that PayPal are taking this route and with all the phishing emails directed at PayPal users it may not be a bad idea to have very temporary passwords (then again phishing for a password and then using it doesn’t take very long either).
At the moment it’s being trialled in America, Germany and Australia. If you are one of the people involved in the trial please let us know how you’re getting on. Hat tip to stuff.