Google has announced that users can now drop their passwords and verification codes and instead switch exclusively to passkeys.
Passkeys—a cryptographic keys solution that requires a pre-authenticated device—are coming to Google accounts on all major platforms and eliminating the need for passwords.
All the major tech companies, including Google, Apple and Microsoft, are pushing for passkeys to be used widely as they are safer, more convenient than passwords. The cryptographic element of the passkeys mean mathematical techniques transform data to prevent it being read or tampered with by unauthorized parties.
Passkeys can replace traditional sign-in systems with a local PIN or biometric authentication like Face ID or a fingerprint. This data isn’t shared with any parties, even Google, and only exist on your device. This means there you can expect greater security and no danger from any phishing scams or attacks. Even better, using a passkey means you no longer have to remember lengthy, complicated passwords.
After adding a passkey to your account, Google will prompt you to use it when you sign in as well as when there is potentially suspicious activity. Passkeys are stored on any compatible hardware and can be shared to other devices using iCloud or password managers like 1Password and Dashlane.
If you don’t have access to your own devices, you can use someone else’s to gain temporary access to your Google account. Choosing to “use a passkey from another device” creates a one-time sign-in that will not transfer the passkey over to the new hardware. Google notes you should never create passkeys on a shared device as anyone that can unlock said device would also be able to access your Google account.
If users suspect someone else can access their account or they lose their device storing their passkey, they can immediately revoke passkeys in their account settings.
As it will take time for passkey support to become used on multiple platforms, Google accounts will continue supporting existing login methods like passwords for now, allowing people time to transition to the new tech. Google is encouraging its users to shift sooner rather than later.