Open question: How much convenience are you willing to give up for security?

As multi-step security measures become the norm, consumers need to exert more effort.

questionmarkSecurity measures to protect online information increasingly require end-user involvement. As an example, Google recently introduced a 2-step verification process. It certainly offers an additional layer of security, but it doesn’t come easy. According to the instruction page:

  1. When you want to access Google products from your browser, go to that product and enter your username and password.
  2. You’ll next be prompted to enter your verification code, which you’ll get from your phone. You’ll only have to do this once every 30 days if you so choose.
  3. Soon after you turn on 2-step verification, non-browser applications and devices that use your Google Account (such as Gmail on your phone or Outlook), will stop working. You’ll then have to sign in using your username and a special password you generate for this application. (Don’t worry, you’ll only have to do this once for each device or application.)

So, every 30 days, the consumer must get a new code from his or her mobile or landline phone in order to access Google products. The security is increased, sure, but at what cost to the consumer? Someday, at the other end of the Way Forward machine, we’ll be able to use the new encryption key for the quantum Internet to manage all our security needs. But for the time being, a couple of questions come to mind:

  • How much convenience are you willing to trade for increased security?
  • Should the responsibility fall to the consumer, or should companies work harder to create secure systems?

Please share your thoughts in the comments.


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