The end of passwords might be arriving sooner than we thought. Google has officially made passkeys the default sign-in method for all personal accounts on its network.
Passkeys, if you don’t remember, are slated to be the “next evolution for online security.” Instead of a lengthy password, this tech typically uses a four-digit PIN or “biometric credentials” for easy logins. They are also said to reduce the likelihood of having your credentials phished by bad actors or targeted by some form of account takeover attack. To encourage adoption, Google will begin sending out prompts to users informing them of the recent change and where they can go about creating a passkey.
Fortunately, generating a passkey is quite simple (in fact, we have a guide detailing the whole process). In short, you’ll need to head over to the company’s official passkeys website, then create a PIN or connect your biometrics to your account. You can use either fingerprints or your own face assuming your device supports facial recognition. After that, you connect your smartphone and you’re done.
There are some restrictions you should be aware of. PCs must be running at least Windows 10, while for Macs, it needs to be macOS Ventura. Smartphones must have either Android 9 or iOS 16. Additionally, this tech only works on a handful of browsers: Microsoft Edge, Safari, and Google Chrome. Of course, they need to be running their latest versions.
If you’re not interested in passkeys, you do have the option to opt-out. Head on over to the Sign-in options page, locate “Skip Password When Possible”, then toggle off the switch.
We reached out to Google asking why the company felt it was time to make passkeys the default so soon after it hit the scene. Support for the security feature came out back in May of this year. Well, as it turns out, they seem to be fairly popular with the user base.
Kimberly Samra, security communications manager at Google, told us 64 percent of surveyed people found the feature “easier to use than traditional login methods.” What’s more the company found that logging in with a passkey is “40 percent faster than” a regular password, according to internal analytics.
The passkey saga isn’t stopping here as Google states it is working with select “partners” across multiple industries to make the new login system usable across Chrome and Android. It’s already present on Uber as well as eBay with plans to expand it to WhatsApp soon. From there, the tech giant will continue encouraging other platforms to pivot towards passkey to eventually make passwords totally obsolete.
If you’re looking for ways to further bolster your online security, we recommend checking out TechRadar’s list of the best antivirus software for 2023.