Voice Passwords: Definition, Security & How They Work

Okta's cloud-based authentication gives users high-assurance with simple-to-use factors like biometrics and push notifications.

Voice password usage is relatively low, when compared to traditional (typed) versions. But this technology could be coming to an account near you. Almost 40 percent of Internet users use a voice assistant (like Alexa) each month. We bark into our computers, speakers, and handheld devices, and we get the results we want. That same technology could be used to unlock your phone, open your bank account, or more.

How do voice passwords work?

A recording starts the voice biometry process. With that data, you'll use your voice to unlock your access.

Most voice authentication systems rely on computer programming. You will:

  • Record. You'll say a predetermined sentence a few times, or you'll speak normally into a microphone. 
  • Program. The system identifies unique identifiers within your voice. 
  • Identify. With that data, you have created a voice password. 

In the future, programmers may create text-independent speaker verification. Your device will listen in as you speak normally in a variety of contexts. That information will create your voice ID.

3 benefits of voice biometry

Your typed passwords may seem adequate for now. Why should you set up a voice password?

These three benefits may entice you:

  1. Simplicity: You don't need fancy software to help you remember your password, and you don't need a high-end microphone to record the data. You have everything you need within your device. 
  2. Ease: About 70 percent of consumers say biometrics (like voice passwords) are easier than traditional versions. 
  3. Security: Your voice is as unique as your fingerprint, and it's harder to steal. When combined with another factor (such as a traditional password), voice versions do help you secure your account. 

Voice password security drawbacks

A voice password is almost impossible to steal, and someone who attempts to mimic you may be soon locked out of your accounts. 

But so-called deepfake programs are in progress that can fool even sophisticated computers. For example, the algorithm researchers made to detect deepfakes on Facebook was only right about 65 percent of the time. As these programs become more effective, theft is likely. 

Your voice can also change with time, especially if you smoke. You may need to re-record your message periodically, or you could get locked out of your own accounts. That could be a security nightmare.

Voice passwords could be part of a robust multi-factor authentication process. Find out more about how these can help you keep your assets safe.


50+ Voice Search Stats to Help You Rethink Your Strategy in 2021. (November 2021). TechJury. 

Consumers Ready to Switch from Passwords to Biometrics, Study Shows. Visa. 

Deepfakes Aren't Very Good. Nor Are the Tools to Detect Them. (June 2020). Wired.