Google has announced that it will roll out a new login feature for its billions of users, allowing them to log in using passkeys instead of traditional passwords. The feature is designed to improve security and reduce the risk of phishing attacks, which have become a major concern in recent years.
Passkeys work by using cryptographic keys stored on a user’s device to authenticate their account, rather than relying on a traditional username and password combination. This makes it much more difficult for attackers to steal a user’s credentials or trick them into giving them away.
To use passkeys with your Google account, you’ll need to navigate to a special link and log in using your username and password. You will then be able to create a passkey using biometrics like face ID or fingerprint, your device’s lock PIN, or hardware authentication devices like YubiKeys.
After creating a passkey, you’ll still be able to log in with your traditional username and password combination. Passkeys can be synced between devices using end-to-end encrypted services like Google iCloud Keychain and Password Manager.
Early tests of the passkey feature have been encouraging, with Google reporting that sign-in success rates were higher than for traditional username and password logins. The company is hoping that users will get more familiar with passkeys than traditional passwords, and will switch to using them exclusively in the future.
“We have an opportunity here to change the way users think about signing in,” said Christiaan Brand, an identity and security product manager at Google. “If we can change the way that signing in works for your Google account, we hope that consumers will start to get more accustomed to the technology, and also signal to industry that we’re not just talking about this stuff.”
Google made its announcement ahead of World Password Day — a day dedicated to making passwords stronger and more secure — saying it marks the beginning of the end of passwords. Passkey advocates are also hoping that events like this will soon be discontinued, as more and more companies adopt the passkey technology and move away from traditional passwords altogether.
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