Google Unveils Password-Alternative "Passkeys"
Google has announced that passkeys, an alternative to traditional passwords, are now rolling out to Google Account users worldwide. Passkeys will be available on all major Google platforms as a new method of securely signing in, alongside passwords and 2-Step Verification (2SV). Google’s goal is to move towards a “passwordless future”.
The passkeys let users sign in using a fingerprint, face scan, or screen lock PIN, as opposed to a set password. “Unlike passwords, passkeys are resistant to online attacks like phishing, making them more secure than things like SMS one-time codes”, said Google in its announcement on The Keyword.
Google further explained that “for some time, we and others in the industry have been working on a simpler and safer alternative to passwords. While passwords will be with us for some time to come, they are often frustrating to remember and put you at risk if they end up in the wrong hands”.
Google Account users can set up and use passkeys now. However, Google has made it clear that they will be retaining support for regular passwords and 2SV for some time, as “like any new beginning, the change to passkeys will take time”.
In May 2022, Google, Apple, and Microsoft, announced a partnership to make passwordless logins a reality across their devices and platforms. Apple introduced passkey support for iOS in September 2022 to enable iPhones to serve as log-in tools for supporting websites and apps.
Passkeys and hardware security keys provide an additional layer of defense against the prevalent risk of phishing attacks, data breaches, and more. To ensure online privacy and security, it's essential for users to adopt such new measures as they arrive.
Google is particularly committed to making sign-ins more secure and effortless across the internet, stating “we look forward to helping people, and others in the industry, take this next leap to make signing in easier and safer.”