Once in a blue moon a product comes along that revolutionizes our daily life and makes us wonder how we ever lived without it. Here’s one: Clef, a mobile app that replaces usernames and passwords with a simple scan from your smartphone. I began installing it today on several of my websites, and I can already tell that I simply love this app.
Gone are the days when we could create a clever password and actually remember it. Weak passwords are too easily hacked, good ones impossible to remember, and password tools too confused by the multiple urls, identities and logins most developers jump in and out of throughout the day. Managing all the passwords I need has become an exercise in frustration as well as a block to any kind of efficient or happy work flow.
Making this situation worse is the frequency of WordPress brute force login attacks, hacker activity in general and the absolute necessity of having strong passwords. Clef rewrites the rules by completely eliminating passwords as well as the login form. Here’s how they describe themselves:
Clef is leveraging the mass adoption of smartphone technology to make an identity platform for the modern web, creating a totally new approach to logging in online. We’ve built a mobile app that lets any site recognize their users based on their phones, instead of anything they have to remember or type. Clef puts secure cryptography in the hands of every user — and it’s much easier than a password.
I’m looking forward with great relief to seeing a dramatic reduction in the stream of notifications I routinely get about login attempts that have been blocked on the WordPress websites I regularly manage.
Clef is an elegant and quick solution to what has become a messy problem. It’s sophisticated. It’s secure, and it’s a game changer. Even better, it’s free. Professional versions are also available. Clef is available as a WordPress plugin, is in beta for e-commerce and has an API for developers making its 2-factor authentication available to any site.
A companion product, a Chrome extension called Waltz, works with Clef to extend this method of authentication to other consumer services including Facebook, Twitter, Google, Netflix, PayPal, Amazon, MailChimp, most major sites and the list is growing.
Get Clef and kiss your passwords goodbye.