Goodbye passwords: Google introduces passkey authentication
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Goodbye passwords: Google introduces passkey authentication

Goodbye passwords: Google introduces passkey authentication

Passkeys let users sign in to apps and sites with a fingerprint, a face scan or a screen lock PIN

Divsha Bhat

Google has globally rolled out passkeys to Google Account users. This is following its partnership with Apple, Microsoft and the Fido Alliance nearly a year ago to introduce passwordless logins across devices, operating systems and browsers.

While traditional methods of improving security, such as multi-factor authentication and password managers, have their limitations, authentication codes sent via SMS can be intercepted, and third-party password management software can be cumbersome for some users.

Passkeys synchronise users’ authentication across their devices via the cloud, using cryptographic key pairs. This allows users to log in to websites and apps using the same biometrics or screen-lock PIN used to unlock their devices.

What are passkeys?

Passkeys are a new way to sign in to apps and websites. They’re both easier to use and more secure than passwords, so users no longer need to rely on the names of pets, birthdays or the infamous “password123.”

Instead, passkeys let users sign in to apps and sites the same way they unlock their devices: with a fingerprint, a face scan or a screen lock PIN.

And, unlike passwords, passkeys are resistant to online attacks like phishing, making them more secure than things like SMS one-time codes.

Over the past year, Google has shared updates on bringing passkey experiences to both Chrome and Android. Starting today, this will be available as an option for Google Account users who want to try a passwordless sign-in experience.

How to set-up?

Users can try them out on their Google accounts and setting it up is easy. For Google Workspace accounts, administrators will soon have the option to enable it for their end-users during sign-in. Like any new beginning, the change to passkeys will take time. That’s why passwords and 2SV will still work for Google Accounts.

In other news, Google recently introduced new features on Android, Chromebook, and Wear OS that are designed to improve productivity, accessibility and connectivity.

Read: Google announces 9 new features on Android and Wear OS

The announcement was made at Mobile World Congress which kicked off in Barcelona, Spain earlier this year.

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