VeriSign's free iPhone app secures passwords

VeriSign's newly announced VIP Access for Mobile application, which provides an additional one-time password credential, hits the App Store

With mobile security on the forefront of every user's mind, and with the iPhone growing in popularity around the globe, VeriSign has released a free iPhone app to strengthen online passwords. Made available today in Apple's App Store, VeriSign's VIP Access for Mobile creates a one-time password credential to be used in addition to the username and password on heavily trafficked sites like eBay and PayPal. There are more than 40 additional sites that are part of the VIP Network; VIP Access users can use their VIP credentials at any site that has a VeriSign Identity Protection logo -- they just have to register their credentials at each member site.

Using VIP Access gives the user a two-tier authentication process that protects their online identity. VIP Access creates a credential to be used at login along with the standard username and password. As the credential changes each time and only the handset owner has the credential information, VIP Access provides an additional barrier to anyone attempting to access your accounts. Generating the credential takes seconds; each credential code can only be used once. Users must activate the application and then register their new VIP credential at the sites of their choosing before the app is ready to use.

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The company has also taken cost into consideration -- using the SaaS model helps eliminate the expenses involved in using proprietary authentication systems. VeriSign has stated it feels that VIP Access will help "businesses interested in having as many users as possible take advantage of the enhanced security on their sites." A demo is available online, and if it's anywhere as easy as it looks, it should prove to be a boon to securing your handset.

VeriSign is reportedly testing a similar application for other handset models (including BlackBerry); a list and downloadable beta versions are already available.