Less than six months ago, Google declared that it was introducing support for the password substitute known as “passkeys” for all personal accounts among its billions of users. The business announced today that it is taking things a step further and will change the default login setting for users to passkeys.
You’ll be prompted to create a passcode when you first enter your Google account so that you can stop using your Gmail address and password to log in. The “skip password when possible” item in account settings—basically the passkey green light—will be activated by Google. Users can still switch off that feature to stop getting prompts if they don’t want to deactivate their password just yet.
It is difficult to replace password-based authentication since it is so commonplace in digital systems. But because they can be cracked, passwords have inherent security issues. Users frequently use the same passwords on several accounts, which makes it simpler for attackers to unlock all of those accounts at once because it’s so challenging to remember dozens or hundreds of passwords. By utilizing a system that handles cryptographic keys saved on your devices for account authentication, Passkeys was specifically created to overcome these difficulties and significantly lower the danger of phishing attacks.
Google declined to provide usage data, instead writing in a blog post that “people have used passkeys on their favorite apps like YouTube, Search, and Maps, and we’re encouraged by the results.” The business notes that passkey support is spreading to more services and applications. Both Apple and Microsoft support passkeys. Businesses like Uber and eBay recently introduced passkeys, and WhatsApp will soon make them available.
Even a powerful and well-known entity like Google won’t be able to force the issue overnight because of the global inertia surrounding passwords. However, it is evident that the firm is using its clout to influence consumers, applying light pressure that appears likely to keep increasing as the popularity of passkeys spreads.
The business wrote today, “We’ll keep you updated on where else you can start using passkeys across other online accounts.” In the interim, we’ll keep pushing the market to switch to passkeys, which will eventually render passwords useless.