Hate passwords? You’re in luck – Google ignores them

Estimated reading time: 3-4 minutes

SAN FRANCISCO — Good news for all the password-haters out there: Google has taken a huge step toward making it an afterthought by adding Passkeys as a more direct and secure way to sign into its services.

Here’s what you need to know:

What are passkeys?

Passkeys provide a more secure alternative to passwords and text confirmation codes. Users will not see it directly; Instead, an online service like Gmail will use it to communicate directly with a trusted device like your phone or computer to sign you in.

All you need to do is verify your identity on the device using a PIN unlock code, biometrics such as a fingerprint or face scan or a more sophisticated physical security dongle.

Google designed its passkeys to work with a wide variety of devices, so you can use them on your iPhone, Mac, and Windows devices in addition to Google’s Android phones.

Why are passkeys necessary?

Thanks to clever hackers and the fallibility of humans, passwords are very easy to steal or crack. And making it more complex opens the door for users to defeat themselves.

For starters, many people choose passwords they can remember — passwords that are easy to remember are also easier to crack. For years, analysis of hacked password caches has found that the most common password used is “password123”. A recent study by password manager NordPass found that it’s now just “a password.” This does not deceive anyone.

Passwords are also frequently compromised in security breaches. Stronger passwords are more secure, but only if you choose unique, complex, and unclear passwords. And once you’ve settled on “erVex411$%” as your password, good luck remembering it.

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In short, passwords put security and ease of use squarely at odds. Software-based password managers, which can generate and store complex passwords for you, are valuable tools that can improve security. But even password managers have a master password that you need to protect, and that gets you back in the quagmire.

In addition to avoiding all these problems, passkeys have an additional advantage over passwords. They’re specific to certain websites, so scam sites can’t steal a passkey from a dating site and use it to raid your bank account.

How do I start using passkeys?

The first step is to enable it for your Google account. On any trusted phone or computer, open the browser and sign in to your Google account. Then visit the page g.co/passkeys And click on the “Start using passkeys” option. there he is! The passkey feature is now activated for this account.

If you are using an Apple device, you will be prompted first Set up the Keychain application If you are not already using it; It securely stores passwords and passkeys now, too.

The next step is to generate the physical passkeys that will connect your trusted device. If you’re using an Android phone that’s already signed into your Google account, you’re in for a treat; Android phones are automatically ready to use passkeys, although you can still enable the function first.

On the same Google Account page mentioned above, find the Create Passkey button. Pressing it will open a window and allow you to create a passkey either on your current device or on another device. There is no wrong choice. The system will simply notify you if this passkey already exists.

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If you’re using a computer that can’t generate a passkey, it will unlock a QR code that you can scan using the regular cameras on iPhones and Android devices. You may have to bring the phone closer until the “Set up passkey” message appears on the image. Click on that and you’re on your way.

so what?

From that point on, signing in to Google will only ask you to enter your email address. If you set up passkeys correctly, you will simply receive a message on your phone or other device asking for your fingerprint, face, or PIN.

Of course, your password is still there. But if the passkeys are booted, chances are good you won’t need them very often. You can even choose to delete it from your account one day.

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