Google is testing a new password-less authentication mechanism that could see a user’s smartphone act as a key for logging into the company’s services online.
Online security is a very important aspect of our digital lives, and while online banking is one obvious cause for concern when it comes to the havoc that could be caused by unauthorized access to an account, a user’s Google account can also cause plenty of trouble if it is compromised. With so much of our lives living on Google’s servers via its online services, anyone with access to a user’s account can find all kinds of information out while also locking the account owner out of the whole shebang in the process.
And things get even worse if you’re carrying around an Android phone with its skin-tight integration with Google accounts.
All this means that having a secure password attached to a Google account is a must, but while passwords with 20 characters, numbers and special characters are nice and secure, they’re no fun to enter when you try to log in. It’s a constant push-pull situation that often leads some people to use insecure passwords in the name of convenience. And that’s just no good.
Google is apparently working on ways to make the entering of passwords a thing of the past, with one Reddit user being invited to a testing program that aims to make it possible to sign into Google services on a computer by using an Android phone as the authentication device. That same Reddit user has posted detailed screenshots showing the new security process in action, and it looks great.
From what we can see, the login process begins with the user starting to log into Google using their Gmail address, but instead of receiving a password prompt, an Android device associated with the account will be contacted and asked whether the account login is to be authorized or not. Presumably the Android device will need to be secured itself, with either a password, PIN or hopefully fingerprint being sufficient.
Obviously at this point we have no idea when Google may activate this new password-less account login system for everyone, or indeed if it ever will. What we do know is that it can’t come soon enough as far as we’re concerned, and hopefully Google isn’t the only one looking to rid us of passwords on the web.