More Companies Switching to Fingerprint Security

More Companies Switching to Fingerprint Security

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Ed Yeates Reporting Forget your password? Don't fret! Just let your computer reach out and touch you. That's where computer security is going and it's bad news for hackers.

At Mountain America Credit Union executive vice president Sterling Nielsen no longer uses a password to get into his computer. Instead of a complex set of letters, words and numbers that he has to alter every few months, he simply touches a biometric device and it reads his fingerprint.

Sterling Nielsen, Executive V.P., Mountain America Credit Union: "It gives us a great deal of security knowing that we are not having employees write passwords down that can be compromised internally and externally."

The computer goes to sleep rapidly when he walks away, but each time he comes back he just touches the scanner and he's in again. Just in case, the device is programmed to recognize several of his fingers.

Sterling Nielsen: The reason I chose the extras is just in case I have an injury – I cut a finger, something like that would alter my fingerprint in some way."

Bryan Boam, President, Network Consulting Services: "It's our job to stay ahead of the game. And this is a way we can take a giant leap forward before the bad guys catch on."

And to protect the user's privacy even more, Bryan Boam with Network Consulting Services says the computer converts the fingerprint into a non-reversible numeric code that can't be extracted. What this computer recognizes belongs distinctively to Sterling Nielsen.

Again, no matter how hard someone else tries - one finger, two fingers or more - the computer doesn't recognize a stranger. It's not going to let me in.

Fingerprints are unique. So are your eyes. So is your voice. That's why these devices may soon replace the written password, not only within companies, but for customers at teller windows or retail counters as well.

Bryan Boam: "They don't want to deal with check fraud. They don't want to deal with stolen credit cards. They want to know that person they're dealing with is really that person. Regulators of the fingerprint is a way of dealing with that."

Is it security's holy grail? No, but with every advancement, Boam says we're getting close.

Before Mountain America, converted to the scanners, Nielsen says he was using a complex password to sign in at least 15 times a day.

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