The Washington Post – The Google It changes the way you log into your account, but don’t worry – it will make your life easier.
Google said this month that it is making so-called “passkeys” the default login option for Google accounts. This means that instead of entering your password, you’ll sign in to your Google Account and apps using the same PIN, Face ID, or fingerprint you used to unlock your device.
In the increasingly intense battle against digital criminals, passwords pose a risk to people and organizations, according to cybersecurity experts. Hackers often steal passwords in targeted attacks or large data breaches and then break into online accounts to steal money or data. Meanwhile, consumers are having difficulty creating and remembering strong passwords for what can be hundreds of online accounts.
a Fido Alliance – An industrial group that includes Amazon, appleAnd Google and Goal Passkeys were created in an effort to make online logins simpler and more secure, and the technology is appearing in more places. Google introduced passkey support in May. iOS 16 users can save passkeys to their Apple account. iOS 16 users can save passkeys to their Apple account. WhatsAppThe Meta-owned messaging app said on Monday that it will support passkey logins for users Android. These decisions may indicate a broader shift on the horizon.
What is a passkey?
The passkey is an alphanumeric string that is unique to you. It proves it’s you, so apps and websites can let you access your account without providing a traditional password.
Access keys rely on a type of cryptography called a public key, where an algorithm puts together like pieces of a puzzle to unlock your account. When you sign in, the app or website shares its “public key” algorithm with your device, which the device decrypts with its unique “private key.”
To activate your passkey, simply unlock your device the normal way — using your PIN, Face ID, or fingerprint — when prompted. Then, the app or website knows who you are and lets you in.
In many cases, your passkeys are saved in your cloud account, such as Google or Apple iCloud. This means you can use your passkey on multiple devices linked to that account.
Google and other passkey providers still accept passwords, so don’t worry if something goes wrong.
How do I configure access keys?
Google should ask you to set up your passkey when you sign in. Otherwise, open any Google app, tap your profile icon in the top right corner, then go to Manage your Google account. From there go to protection In the left menu, scroll to How to log in And activate passwords.
Apps and websites that support passwords should prompt you to set a password when you create a new account. This will include unlocking the device for authentication. If you already have an account on that site or app, go to your account settings and look for options like privacy, security, or passwords. You should see a way to activate passkeys.
Depending on the device you’re using, you can save passwords on your device’s keychain. ICloudin Google Password Manager or Windows Hello, or in a password manager app or browser extension.
Passkeys eliminate some of the biggest risks and problems that come with passwords.
First, you no longer need to remember passwords. People and businesses spend a lot of time and money every year dealing with forgotten passwords, so passwords save everyone’s work.
Passwords also protect people and companies from credential leaks. When hackers compromise company servers, they often use stolen username and password combinations to try to break into other websites as well. Since many people are tired of remembering passwords and using the same words for all accounts, these hackers are often successful. Passwords significantly reduce this possibility because they are stored on the user’s device or personal cloud rather than on company servers.
Finally, you no longer have to search for that six-digit code in your text messages when you try to log in. This additional security check is called two-factor authentication, and it has helped make passwords more secure. But access keys make additional authentication unnecessary because they confirm the user’s identity from the beginning.
Passwords aren’t ideal for environments where many people share the same devices, such as university libraries, said Steve Won, chief product officer at the password management company. 1Password. If you share a device and don’t set up separate user profiles, other users can unlock your password to access your account and Google apps (to fix this, just set up separate user profiles that stay locked with your PIN, password, or biometrics ).
Since passkeys are often tied to your devices, you may need to set up new passkeys if you lose your phone or laptop. However, your accounts should be safe from attackers as long as they don’t know the PIN to unlock your device.
Which websites and apps support passkeys?
Developing technology to support passwords takes time and money, so companies have been relatively slow to get on board, said Igor Kuznetsov, a researcher at the cybersecurity firm. Kaspersky. We’re still years away from life without passwords.
But the list of participants who allow passwords is constantly growing. In addition to Google, there are big names like Uber, Tik Tokamazon, Microsoft, PayPal that it Nintendo Allows you to log in using passkeys.
The more large companies support access keys, the greater the pressure on smaller companies to change, Kuznetsov said. Ultimately, you may have far fewer passwords to remember and write down, saving time and brain space. (Until then, be sure to use long, unique, and complex passwords and store them in a password manager.) /Translated by Alice Labate
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