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Two-factor authentication rated as safest by consumers

Europeans are increasingly using smartphones and other forms of mobile technology to do their banking

Consumers are highly conscious of security when they manage their money using devices, and there is no consensus that one method is completely safe. Not surprisingly, newer, less familiar methods score lower on ratings of security.

Not only do we have an inclination to believe what we are already doing is effective, especially if we never had security issues, but we also tend to feel safe sticking to what we know. The ING survey suggests that two-factor authentication, fingerprint recognition and a simple password are seen as most secure, with the largest groups scoring them 4 (secure) or 5 (very secure).

Relatively new technologies such as face recognition, an implanted computer chip and voice recognition scored lower. But nothing was seen as truly safe.

Even two-factor authentication – using two completely different types of secure credential, such as a password and receiving a text message with an additional code word or number – was only rated secure by 70% in Europe (69% in the US).

And just two-thirds of Europeans (62%) and Americans (60%) rated a password as secure or very secure. This may reflect users’ own tendency for choosing predictable passwords.

Carnegie Mellon University (1) researchers found in 2016 that people knew what made a password harder to crack, but tended not to follow through when it came to their own encryptions.

If financial technology is to grow and develop, service providers will need to stay on top of consumer concerns about security, especially with threats becoming ever more sophisticated.

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