Just in time for World Password Day on the first Thursday in May, the tech giant Google has begun rolling out support for passkeys in Google accounts across all major platforms.
They will be an additional option users can use to log in alongside passwords, 2-step verification (2SV), etc. Last year, Google – along with the FIDO Alliance, Apple and Microsoft – announced that they would begin supporting passkeys on their platform to provide an easier and more secure alternative to passwords.
Passkeys are a new way to log in to apps and websites. They are both easier to use and more secure than passwords, so users no longer have to rely on pet names, birthdays, or the infamous “password123.” Instead, passkeys let users log in to apps and websites the same way they unlock their devices: with a fingerprint, facial scan or screen lock PIN. And unlike passwords, passkeys are resistant to online attacks like phishing, making them more secure than one-time SMS codes.
Over the last year, Google had already reported on the introduction of Passkeys in Chrome and Android, which services like Docusign, Kayak, PayPal, Shopify and Yahoo! Japan have already deployed to make logging in easier for their users. Starting immediately, this feature will be available as an option for Google account users who want to try passwordless login. Currently, passkeys are available for Google accounts. Google account users can try them out and easily set them up at g.co/passkeys. For Google Workspace accounts, administrators will soon have the ability to enable passkeys for their end users during sign-in. Since the transition to Passkeys will take some time, like any new startup, passwords and 2-factor verifications will continue to work for Google accounts.
The big Silicon Valley tech companies have been working on an easier and more secure alternative to passwords for many years. For now, however, this does not mean that passwords will become completely obsolete. Passwords will certainly be with us for some time to come, but a secure replacement like the one recently presented by Google is urgently needed. After all, managing passwords is often frustrating because secure alternatives are usually difficult to remember. Easy-to-memorize passwords, on the other hand, pose a risk if they fall into the wrong hands. That’s why Google’s approach with the Passkey solution is forward-looking.