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Google password security getting physical with USB technology


An iPhone user enters her Facebook password.



Google probably realized we’re all in trouble when SplashData – developer of password management software – released its most recent list of worst passwords.

Like a palm to the forehead atop that list – beating out gems like “123456” and “12345678” – was “password.”

Thankfully, we have Google vice president of security Eric Grosse and engineer Mayank Upadhyay on our sides.

They’re spearheading the drive to keep our digital lives safe by banishing passwords in favor of USB technology, Wired reported.

What that means is plugging an encrypted USB key into a computer that keeps you and your information safe online.

More from GlobalPost: What’s the most common – and worst – password of 2011? Password, of course

The same technology could eventually find its way inside jewelry (finally, someone who can put decoder rings back in cereal boxes … Wonder Twins, activate!).

“We’d like your smartphone or smartcard-embedded finger ring to authorize a new computer via a tap on the computer, even in situations in which your phone might be without cellular connectivity,” says a research paper written by Grosse and Upadhyay, to be published in IEEE Security and Privacy.

Google is considering USB security like that from Yubico to help further the idea.

Of course, that means you have to be really careful with the key or ring, and likely the device will still need some sort of PIN number. Just do yourself a favor, and skip 1234 would you please?

More from GlobalPost: Yahoo investigating possible breach of 450,000 passwords