Medium stays firmly anti-password with radical e-mail-based logins

The blogging platform no longer requires a Twitter or Facebook account, but still won't let you create a password.

Medium is doing its best to stay password-free by letting users log in with a secure email link.

The blogging platform had previously required a Facebook or Twitter account to sign in, but realized that not everyone uses those networks or wants to tie their social network account to a new service they're just trying out. As an alternative, users can get a sign-in link by email that works only once and expires after 15 minutes.

"Passwords are neither secure nor simple," Medium wrote in a blog post. "They're hard to remember or easy to guess, everyone re-uses them (even though they know they shouldn't), and they're a pain to type on mobile. They don't even keep you that safe."

As with Twitter and Facebook logins, the new email links essentially shift the security burden onto other services where you're more likely to have a stronger password or two-factor authentication. Instead of having lots of accounts that aren't very secure, the idea is to have a handful of highly secure accounts that act as your master key for various other web services.

Of course, someone who gained access to your email could then use it to sign into Medium, but at that point you've got much bigger problems. And as Medium points out, most password-based services let you reset your credentials through email anyway. Still, Medium says it's looking into other login options such as text messaging, which could only be compromised through physical access to your phone.

Why this matters: The new login system is part of an industry-wide move away from passwords, which all too often fall into the wrong hands. While keeping a combination in your head has some advantages, having to do so for dozens of sites encourages bad behavior such as overly simple passwords and repeats. Consolidating makes a lot of sense, especially when combined with additional layers of security such as biometric feedback and physical keys.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags passwordssecuritytwitterFacebook

More about FacebookTwitter

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Jared Newman

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts