Gold'en Rant : The mobile Internet password security nightmare

When yours truly first started to use the Internet in the late 1980s - back in the days of Arpanet, Bitnet and Janet, even the most basic of Internet-accessible systems used IDs and non-case-sensitive passwords.

Non-case-sensitive passwords? That's right. The reason for this was a combination of older computers only being capable of generating upper case letters and, even on THOSE machines which could generate lower and upper cases. shifting between the two was often a tedious affair.

Suddenly, as the graphical version of the Web took off in the early- to-mid-1990s, case sensitive passwords arrived.

And now we have the mobile Internet, allowing punters to log on to their desktop-accessible services using Java and/or Windows Mobile software running on a mobile phone. And moving between cases on mobile phone is almost as tedious as on the personal computers of late 1980s.

Granted, case sensitive passwords do have a place in high security applications such as e-banking, but for Instant Messaging and accessing my eBay bidding account? Come on guys.

Especially when it's perfectly possible for mobile Internet services to authenticate users from their mobile phone number - and how many do

that? Not very many.

Would it be that difficult to allow basic online services supporting mobile Internet access to switch case sensitivity off and allow mobile phone authentication instead?

In the meantime, it takes me 34 keystrokes to use my mobile to sign in to my Instant Messaging account. On the desktop it takes 14 keystrokes. There's something very wrong somewhere...