Since the earliest days of computing, passwords have existed as a way to prevent unwanted parties from accessing privileged information. Considering the earliest days of computing were more than 50 years ago, it's shocking how little the password has changed since — more or less, it's always been a string of characters entered through a keyboard or similar input. There have of course been added layers of protection here and there — a recent example being Google's 2-Step verification — but the core idea has remained the same. Now Google wants to take its verification method another step forward and eliminate passwords altogether.
The tech giant is currently testing a new way for users to log into their Google accounts using just a mobile phone. According to Android owner Rohit Paul, who posted about his access to the new feature on Reddit, all a user has to do is authorize their Android mobile phone and it can allow them entry into their Google account on any computer. They'll simply get a notification on their phone, confirm it's them trying to log in, and that's it.
"We've invited a small group of users to help test a new way to sign-in to their Google accounts, no password required," a Google spokesperson told The Verge. "'Pizza,' 'password,' and '123456' — your days are numbered."
In addition to removing the burdensome process of remembering various passwords, this new feature would serve as a much more robust defense against hackers who leverage commonly used passwords and "phish" for others by collecting information through fake login screens. Overall, it's an initiative aimed at boosting security, and even if it's only for Google accounts at the moment, it may join Apple's Touch ID as a relatively reliable natural evolution for passwords on the web. So the password as a string of characters may well die someday, but the concept of having that security layer never will — it'll just take one of these more secure forms.
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