Google is in the news again and this time, the company is testing a security feature that may render passwords obsolete.
In the near future, you may not require a password to log in to your Google account, regardless of the location and device you’re logging into. You may be used to two-factor authentication, a security feature that delivers unique codes to your device –usually your phone—that is then used to authenticate you to access your account.
A Reddit user has made the revelation that Google is conducting tests wherein users are logging into their Google accounts in a different way entirely.
Here’s how it works:
- Basically, the feature works when you’re looking to sign in to your Google account, while you have your phone with you.
- Enter your email address and hit next.
- A screen pops up with a number on your computer with an instruction to check your phone.
- A sign-in notification will appear on your Google-authenticated phone.
- Tap on the notification and three choices of numbers will appear on your phone.
- Tap the number that is displayed on your computer and you’ve logged in.
The Reddit user, rp1226, shared the details in the Android subreddit, which can be found here.
Reddit user rp1226, real name Rohit Paul has shared the details of the experiment and included screenshots of the sign-in process which can be found below.
Rohit was the member of a Google Group called “Sign-In Experiments at Google,” which requires an invitation to join.
A spokesperson for Google got in touch with TechCrunch to confirm the experiment while noting that password security may soon be a thing of the past.
We’ve invited a small group of users to help test a new way to sign-in to their Google accounts, no password required. ‘Pizza’, ‘password’ and ‘123456’ –your days are numbered.
Google also confirmed that testers can opt-out of the feature and re-enact their passwords as their chosen mode of authentication. One assumes the same will apply for users preferring passwords in the future, even if the password-free entry becomes the norm. The screenshots offer proof of this, with passwords-entries still made available.
Why Google’s Foray into Killing the Password Matters
Passwords are among the most vulnerable facets of a user’s security as most users tend to replicate a password that is used with multiple accounts. No matter how good a password is, the habit of using the same password in multiple websites does not make a for a good security habit.
While transitioning from a password-based environment to one of mobile authentication can prove to be a significant task, Google is on the right track. With that being said, frequent users of the internet also tend to use password managers that remembers their passwords for them. Password managers and vaults are arguably your best means of security when you’re logging in to multiple websites and forums online, with unique passwords for every website you frequent.
Images from Google and screenshots credits go to Rohit Paul.