Google has announced it will soon make passkeys the default sign-in option for personal Google accounts, part of the company’s broader effort to move beyond passwords for account security.
Passkeys are digital keys that people can use as an alternative to passwords when signing into websites or apps. Google said passkeys are “phishing resistant” and use cryptographic techniques to provide stronger account protection than traditional passwords.
“We’ve received really positive feedback from our users, so today we’re making passkeys even more accessible by offering them as the default option across personal Google Accounts,” the company said in a blog post.
This means Google Account users will soon see prompts to create and use passkeys when signing in. It also means the “Skip password when possible” option will be turned on by default.
Google said passkeys are 40% faster to use than passwords and rely on a user’s fingerprint, face scan or PIN to unlock their device. But the company acknowledged “passwords may be around for a little while” as new technologies take time to gain adoption.
People will still have the option to use passwords if they want, according to the blog post.
“We’ve found that one of the most immediate benefits of passkeys is that they spare people the headache of remembering all those numbers and special characters in passwords,” Google said. “They’re also phishing resistant.”
The company said Uber, eBay and other platforms have started enabling passkeys, with WhatsApp support coming soon.
“We’ll keep you updated on where else you can start using passkeys across other online accounts,” Google said. “In the meantime, we’ll continue encouraging the industry to make the pivot to passkeys — making passwords a rarity, and eventually obsolete.”