Google is taking a new step toward a future without passwords: the company announced a new authentication technology across its services that allows all Google Account users to sign in to their accounts using passkeys instead of passwords.
Passkeys are a simpler and more secure alternative to current login technologies such as passwords because, unlike passwords, passkeys are resistant to online attacks like phishing. Also, they cannot be stolen if cybercriminals break into Google's servers as they are stored on the device where they're created.
The technology uses your device's biometrics (fingerprints or face) or pin to confirm your signing in. It basically allows using your device instead of a password for authentication.
This method now works on all major platforms and browsers and allows users to sign in to their Google accounts the same way they unlock their devices: with a face scan, a fingerprint, or a screen-lock PIN.
If you choose a passkey as a way to access your Google account, the system will ask for it when you sign in to your account or perform sensitive activities. The passkey itself is stored locally on a device (computer or smartphone), which will ask for biometric data or a PIN. The biometrics will not be shared with Google or any other third party.
The new feature is available on devices running iOS 16, Android 9, and newer. For now, Google is not removing the standard login methods like the option to sign in using passwords or to activate two-factor authentication, but it is planning to make passkeys the only authentication method in the future eventually.