Securing our PCs with passwords is a must for most of us for security and privacy reasons. Windows Hello is a way to protect your devices and login securely into them that’s considerably more secure than using a password in Windows 11.
It is a biometric-based system that’s not only more secure but also more reliable and fast. Here’s everything you need to know about it, from what it is, why you should use it and how to set it up.
Why You Should Use Windows Hello?
Although passwords are the OG methods to provide security, they are also notoriously easy to compromise. There’s a reason the whole industry is working fast to replace them in the near future.
What’s the reason that passwords are so insecure? Quite frankly, there are too many. Many users are still using the most hacked passwords like 123456, password, or qwerty. Those who are using more complicated and secure passwords either end up writing them somewhere as they are difficult to remember, or worse, resuing them on multiple sites. One password leak from a website (which is becoming more and more common these days) can compromise multiple accounts in this instance.
Multi-factor authentication is getting so much traction for this exact reason. And biometrics is another form that looks like it is the future of passwords. Biometrics are far more secure than passwords which are more likely to be stolen. Techniques like facial and fingerprint recognition provide enterprise-grade security because of how hard they are to break.
What is Windows Hello and How Does It Work
Windows Hello is a biometrics-based technology that lets you log into Windows and supported apps using fingerprint or facial recognition. It is an alternative to passwords to log into your Windows PC. It removes the hassle of typing in a password. You can just unlock your device with a touch or a look.
Windows Hello is not unlike the FaceID or TouchID of Apple Devices. Of course, the option to sign in with a PIN is always available. Even PIN (barring 123456 and the likes of this) is more secure than using a password because your PIN is most likely only associated with a single account.
Windows Hello uses 3D structured light to recognize someone’s face. It also uses anti-spoofing technologies to prevent people from using fake masks to spoof the system. When you use Windows Hello, you can rest assured that information associated with your face or fingerprint never leaves your device. If it was stored on a server instead, it would be vulnerable to hacking.
Windows also does not store any full-blown pictures of your face or fingerprint that can be compromised. It creates a data representation or graph to store this data. Furthermore, Windows also encrypts this data before storing it on the device.
Windows Hello also uses liveness detection according to standards that dictate that the user must be a living being before unlocking the device.
When using facial or fingerprint recognition, you can always change or improve the scan later or add additional fingerprints. To use facial or fingerprint recognition on your Windows 11 PC, you must have supported hardware. This includes a specialized illuminated infrared camera for facial recognition or a fingerprint reader that supports the Windows Biometric Framework for fingerprint recognition. The hardware can be part of your system or you can use external hardware that Windows Hello supports.
How to Set Up Windows Hello
Open the Settings app on your Windows 11 PC. You can use the keyboard shortcut Windows+i or open it from the Search bar or the Start Menu.
Then, navigate to ‘Accounts’ from the panel on the left.
Click the option for ‘Sign-in options’.
Before you can use either facial recognition or fingerprint with Windows Hello, you have to set up the PIN. To set up a PIN, go to ‘PIN (Windows Hello)’. Click the ‘Add’ button underneath PIN to set up the PIN. After you enter the password and verify your identity, you can set up Windows Hello.
If you have supported hardware for fingerprint, go to ‘Fingerprint Recognition (Windows Hello)’.
To set up facial recognition, go to the option for ‘Facial Recognition (Windows Hello)’.
Passwords are not only cumbersome to type, but they are also not as secure as other sign-in options that Windows Hello offers. Set up Windows Hello and you’re good to go for a hassle-free login.