Is this the end of passwords… forever?

Is this the end of passwords… forever?

No one likes passwords. Creating them. Remembering them. Typing them in.

Your whole mood can change when an application you’re using suddenly logs you out, and you have to go through login all over again. It’s frustrating for all of us. The use of a secure password manager helps but you still have to deal with passwords.

So, we have some welcome news, courtesy of Microsoft, Apple, and Google. The tech giants have joined forces to kill off the password for good.

During the next year, there is a plan to roll out no-password logins across their platforms, using a standard tech by the FIDO (Fast Identification Online) Alliance. This organization sets the standards for passwordless authentication.

Sure thats a bit of a mouthful … so some people call this a passkey. Much easier to remember.

A passkey works in a similar way to multi-factor authentication (where you use a separate code generated by your device to prove it’s really you), also know as Two-Factor Authentication but with less effort required.

It’s pretty simple but secure. To login to your device, you’ll use your phone to prove it’s really you. Your computer will use Bluetooth to verify you’re nearby. Because Bluetooth only works a short distance, this should stop many phishing scams. Then it’ll send a verification message to your phone. You’ll unlock your phone in the usual way, with your face, fingerprint, or PIN. And that’s it. You’re logged in.

Passkeys rely on something called public key cryptography. When you register with an application or website a key pair is made between the website and your device. These are a sequence of ong numbers that are connected in some way. But you’ll never see them, and you certainly don’t have to remember them. Your phone verifies the pair when you unlock it in the normal way.

In addition, you don’t have to worry about losing your device. It’s not enough to just have your device … someone has to be able to unlock it as well. Your passkeys will be backed up automatically, so transferring data to a new device is easy. Similarly to the same way it’s now easy to set up a new phone to be just like your old device.

These passkeys are not only simpler for you but will keep your data safer. There is no password for criminals to steal. And your phone needs to be close to your computer to login. Sp physical location is important to security. While you should not consider it completely foolproof, it is more secure than saved passwords.

Any version of authentication has some weaknesses. Whether it is passwords, biometrics, faceID and so on … each has its pros and cons. However, the biggest strength in Passkeys is a physical location and requires two separate devices, one of which, you likely don’t get far from, must be in physical location near to each other.

If you would like to learn more about this technology, check out this link.