Why Anonymous Login Helps Your Users
By: Derek Quach
December 7, 2022
Even before the internet was “invented” in 1983, logins have been an essential aspect of computer use. In 1961 Fernando Corbató introduced passwords at MIT to keep users from accessing each others’ files on MIT’s CTSS. CTSS, or Compatible Time-Sharing System allowed multiple users to use the computer’s operating system from different devices simultaneously. However, with a practically shared computer, personal files were public and perhaps easily mixed.
The login today is primarily used to give users access to accounts across the platforms they use. But, much like the CTSS, it is used to keep your personal information private. Personal information such as credit card information, social security number, and banking information can be revealed to the user with the correct login credentials. Relatedly, MFA/2FA and password managers have been more recently developed so users can respectively log in with ease or manage more complex passwords. All-in-all, it’s widely known that logins are integral to user experience and keeping sensitive information safe.
Regardless, users may still feel unsafe with the typical username-password combination. Usual logins expose your users to data breaches, identity theft, and other password vulnerabilities. Understandably, feeling unsafe is practical considering the amount of sneaky and malicious ways that data is stolen. In a study of 30,000 people, 10% of users “feel like they have total control over their personal information online” or are confident in their ability “to protect themselves online.” By storing less personal information, starting at the login, users can begin to feel safer knowing that they’ve revealed less information. With the feeling of safety, your users may be more willing to spend more time on your site.
Most experts and users practicing good internet safety recommend using different passwords for different platforms. However, this is only sometimes practical. By reducing the number of passwords your users have to create, users are more readily able to create an account on your website or app. Users no longer have to worry about brute-force attacks or rely on password managers. Identity providers offer a unique solution to password management by circumventing the problem entirely. Rather than rely on a password, your users can log in with a unique credential. With a valid credential across many platforms, your users can save time and mental strain when logging into your website.
This is more commonly known as SSO or single sign-on. SSO providers proffer users the option to authenticate themselves through their platform, but this is not always safe. With just an email address, half of a typical login is revealed– assisting hackers in breaching your users’ emails. If a hacker were to gain access to your users’ email inboxes, it would understandably cause great distress to your users.
Responsible Login Providers
Responsible login providers should authenticate your users conveniently, securely, and without exposing your users. With a responsible login, most users would feel safer knowing that their information has not been used outside of the login. These elements of a responsible login will help mitigate the chance that your users become exposed to hackers.
Being vulnerable to hackers seems inevitable, but it can be greatly reduced by improving accessibility. In the case for the tech-inexperienced, simple-to-use logins would greatly reduce the online vulnerability of your users. Additionally, anonymous logins would further reduce data vulnerability as their data is protected from hackers, too.
By implementing a login that is safe, easy-to-use, and responsible, your users will feel safer as soon as they launch your website or app.
The importance of anonymity cannot be underestimated in the online world. This is why the prevalence VPNs, incognito mode and secure browsers have been on the uprise. “Personal data is considered among the most valuable commodities on the internet”– which is why anonymity is crucial to the user experience. By providing your users the choice of anonymity, you can help your user feel safer.
In cybersecurity, guaranteeing confidentiality should be the norm. Improved cyber security is the future as the online world grows exponentially. Companies have realized this and have reacted correspondingly by hiring cyber security engineers at a rate of (on average in the US) $126,713 a year. By encouraging better online security, you can make your users feel safer. But users must see or feel that safety – what better way to do it than anonymity? And though pure anonymity across an entire platform may not seem possible, it should, and will start at the login. Which is why you should consider:
humanID provides an elegant, safe, anonymous and simple solution to protecting your users starting at the login. For the common user and the user that may need more help, humanID lets users log into their accounts with just their phone number. No other data besides a phone number is needed.
By utilizing humanID’s login as an avenue for logins, you can help users stay anonymous and feel safer. Especially since the anonymous login stores no data past the actual login. Feeling safer varies on a case-to-case basis; but, with no sensitive information used for the login (other than a phone number), users don’t have to worry about their data being exploited from your product.
humanID is a non-profit, open-source SSO service that will help your users feel safe. With the appeal of anonymity, humanID will (hopefully) attract more users to your website and “foster long-term relationships with users [and] achieve a strong ROI”.