Tired of passwords and confirmation codes? Google has you covered. The company rolled out its new passkey technology Thursday as an easier and more secure way for users to log into their accounts.
What are passkeys?
Passkeys are designed to replace passwords entirely and create a whole new way to authenticate your account login identity.
They allow users to sign in to apps and websites the same way they might unlock their smartphone: With a fingerprint ID, face scan ID or PIN number.
Google designed the feature to work on a variety of devices, including iPhones, Macs, Windows computers, and Google's own Android cell phones.
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Why are they necessary?
Google said they're a safer alternative to traditional passwords, like the infamous "password" and its fraternal twin "password123."
Let's be honest, people generally choose passwords they can easily recall, such as birthdays and names of pets. Those simple passwords are also easier to crack. And good luck recalling those suggested passwords that are a jumble of letters, numbers and characters.
You may be thinking, "I'll just change my password again when I can't remember it," but cybersecurity experts actually advise against that. Microsoft said last year that password changes lead users to select more predictable and easy-to-breach passwords.
Google says passwords are also prone to security breaches and data leaks. A new annual report from Trend Micro, a global leader in cybersecurity, showed there were a record 146 million cyberthreats in 2022 — a 55% increase from the previous year. The report shows that cybercriminals are also becoming increasingly sophisticated in their tactics, meaning your "unique" password may not be so secure after all.
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How to set up passkeys for Google Accounts
To begin setting up passkeys, you will first have to enable them from your Google account. Then you can head over to g.co/passkeys. and begin setting up your new way to log in.
From that point, Google will no longer require you to use a password or two-step verification to access your account — just your email.
The company says Google Workspace administrators will soon have the option to enable passkeys for their end-users during sign-in.
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