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Yahoo bypasses standard passwords with smartphone code

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Yahoo has launched an on-demand password service that lets forgetful customers tie their account security to their mobile phone.

Yahoo director of product management Chris Stoner announced the service, which US users can opt into now.

The 'On-demand passwords' feature can be activated in the security section of Yahoo accounts' settings menu. Once activated, the user will be instructed to enter their mobile phone number.

From this point on, whenever the customer attempts to open their account Yahoo will send a custom unlock code to their phone, removing the need for them to remember a password.

Stoner said the service is part of Yahoo's ongoing efforts to make account security easier for users.

"We've all been there. You're logging into your email and you panic because you've forgotten your password. After racking your brain for what feels like hours, it finally comes to you. Phew," he said.

"Today, we're hoping to make that process less anxiety-inducing by introducing on-demand passwords, which are texted to your mobile phone when you need them. You no longer have to memorise a difficult password to sign in to your account - what a relief."

The service is available to US users now. There is no confirmed UK release date and at the time of publishing Yahoo had not responded to V3's request for comment on when it will roll out the service in Europe.

The release follows reports that many users are still failing to take even basic cyber defence measures to protect their personal data.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer controversially revealed she does not lock her smartphone with a password or gesture, as it made unlocking the device "too time-consuming".

Yahoo is one of many companies to experiment with alternative password security services. Apple and Samsung added biometric fingerprint scanners to their latest iPhone 6 and Galaxy S6 smartphones.

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