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Passkeys…what are they?

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Photo by Everyday basics on Unsplash

Note: this applies to Gmail accounts and Android/Google devices! User safety and security have been a primary concern of the tech industry since the inception of modern technology. Today, over 900 password attacks happen every second, according to a 2022 Microsoft study.

All tech companies have been working to introduce a new way for users to sign into their accounts without using a password. At last year’s World Password Day, Google announced that they would roll out passkey technology to replace traditional password-based authentication. One year later on May 3 Google announced that they had done it!

AGREEN1 visited the Google website to learn how they work. Passkeys are very different than passwords. First, passkeys can only exist on devices, and they cannot be stolen by or sold to bad actors. “When you use a passkey to sign in to your Google Account, it proves to Google that you have access to your device and are able to unlock it.”

Note, if you share devices, do not create a passkey on that shared device; use your unshared device. You can create different passkeys for each device you use. However, Apple is different according to Google; “If you create a passkey on your iPhone, that passkey will also be available on your other Apple devices if they are signed in to the same iCloud account. This protects you from being locked out of your account in case you lose your devices and makes it easier for you to upgrade from one device to another.”

Passkey technology works using offline security keys that are stored on a user’s computer or mobile device

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