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11/16/2010
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Slide Show: Extreme And Alternative Authentication Methods

Passwords are the weakest link in access control, but there are plenty of other, less-traveled options for authentication
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Be it through brute force attacks, dictionary attacks, reading them off of Post-It notes or simply guessing, cracking passwords is hardly a difficult task for the suitably motivated. In fact, traditional text passwords for logging into accounts have been shown time and time again to be the weakest links in modern day access control. Combine that with the fact that most users typically reuse passwords on multiple accounts--75 percent, according to a survey conducted by BitDefender earlier in the summer--and it's clear that something has got to give.

It's not that there aren't alternatives out there. Academics and start-up businesses have worked hard over the years to develop alternatives to the traditional password log-in.

Here are ten of the most unique options for either replacing passwords altogether or to act as a strong multi-factor authentication supplement.

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