Google's Plan To Kill Passwords Starts Now With Passkeys, What You Need To Know

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Google has rolled out its passkey feature in its quest for a passwordless future. Passkeys allow Google Account owners to set up a safe alternative to old-fashioned passwords or 2-Step Verification (2SV).

Trying to remember all the passwords one has ever used over the years can be mind-numbing. Toss in the fact that many also use some form of two-factor authentication these days, and simply gaining access to one of your own accounts can be daunting at times. This is in part why Google wants to move everyone to a passwordless future, beginning with passkeys.

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Once a user adds a passkey to an account, it will begin asking for it when they sign in or perform sensitive actions within the account. Google says the passkey is safely stored on a local computer or mobile device, allowing users to use biometrics or a PIN to confirm it is actually them. Don't worry about a fingerprint being shared, as Google says those are not shared with Google or any other third party.

While passkeys are stored on a device such as a smartphone, it does not mean someone must have the smartphone with them to sign in. Those who use multiple devices, such as a phone and a laptop, can create a passkey for each one. For those who own an iPhone and create a passkey on it, that passkey will be available on all the other Apple devices signed into the same iCloud account.

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Setting up a Google passkey does not erase the older methods used to sign into an account, including the old-fashioned password. This will allow users to be able to access accounts on devices where passkeys are not yet supported. Google says that this new way of signing in is still new and will take a bit of time before they work everywhere.

If someone loses a device that has a passkey set up on it and they are worried about another person being able to unlock it, the passkey can be immediately revoked in the user's account settings. If the device also supports remotely wiping it, Google recommends doing that as well.

Anyone who would like to set up a passkey for a personal Google Account can visit Google's website. It should be noted, setting up a passkey for a work account will more than likely require an administrator to assist you. Google also warns that you should not set up a passkey on a device that is shared with others.