Last week we discussed Multi-factor authentication, secure online access, and its benefits. This week we will speak about how TELUS has approached password problems with an exciting new technology – Mobile Connect.
Mobile Connect is a simple single-sign-on technology, intended to give you secure online access to any number of online services using a single digital ID based on your mobile phone. So imagine being unshackled from the burden of having to remember all your different usernames and passwords, and instead being able to use a single way of logging in to your most used sites, with enhanced levels of security and privacy.
This is a global initiative of the GSM Association, which is the industry body representing nearly 800 mobile network operators globally. Successful deployments of this technology around the world, including in France, Spain and Switzerland, have helped ensure the ease of use, compatibility, security and privacy of access to online services.
How will Mobile Connect make a difference to me?
Convenience: Imagine freedom from forgotten username & password situations! Mobile Connect uses your mobile phone number as the login mechanism, combined with a PIN or a biometric. The fact that it is designed as a single way to let you log in to multiple online services means that you don’t have to deal with the pain of remembering different passwords for every single online website.
Privacy: Unlike a username/password system where you could be sharing your email address and opening yourself up to spam and email breaches, you do not share ANY personal information with third parties when using this login method, not even your phone number.
Even the website you are logging into will never see the phone number, and your PIN or biometric will never leave your device.
Security: This technology offers the security elements similar to what you use with your Canadian bank access card, but for the digital world. Even if the worst were to happen and someone stole your phone and tried to use Mobile Connect to access your accounts, they would be denied, as they would need to know your PIN, or replicate your biometric. Many people may know your phone number, but they cannot use that to gain access to your account.
If you call your mobile carrier and report your phone stolen or lost, Mobile Connect will immediately cease to work on your stolen or lost phone. You can simply recover your account on a new device and continue to steer clear of password problems without missing a beat. Multi-factor authentication helps ensure that no one will gain backdoor access using “old hacking strategies.
Control: Mobile Connect allows you to maintain complete control over which online accounts can be accessed using it. For example, if you use it to access your bank account, your utility company account and your insurance company account, you can change your mind at any time and disable the connection between the app and any of those service providers.
Multi-Factor Authentication: Traditional 2 factor authentication relies on the fact you have your mobile device (factor #1-something I have), and that you know your PIN or provide your fingerprint (factor #2-something I know or something I am). Mobile Connect relies on the account status (e.g. active, stolen, lost, etc.) of your phone number as an additional security measure, due to the fact that many consumers tend to notice that their phone is missing quicker than if their wallet was missing.
How can I learn more about this exciting new technology?
TELUS is the first to pilot Mobile Connect in Canada. The pilot allows anyone with a TELUS My Account to log in to the TELUS site to view their account information using Mobile Connect. We are searching for 500 participants to try this technology out and provide their feedback.
This pilot will run from November 2016 to February 2017. As a way of saying thanks, we will offer a free $20 Starbucks gift card to the first 250 participants who use Mobile Connect to successfully log into TELUS.com at least once, and complete a short survey at the end of the pilot. Qualifying participants will get the gift card emailed to their TELUS.com registered email within two weeks of survey completion.
All questions, suggestions, and forum discussions are welcome, and certainly invaluable. We look forward to hearing from you!
Update: November 21, 2016
Our original instructions stated that the gift card would be emailed to you at the completion of the survey at the end of the pilot period in February 2017.
N0 one likes to wait that long, and we appreciate you registering. We have updated our terms to offer you a $10 Starbucks gift card within one week of pilot registration, and another $10 Starbucks
gift card when you complete the short survey at the end of the pilot in February 2017.
This article is one in a series sponsored by TELUS to provide advice and expertise on digital identity management for organizations. For more information, please email [email protected].