Managing passwords can often be a daunting task for internet users. They are long, hard to remember, and plenty. So why not abandon them in favor of access keys (passkeys) that are much safer and more practical? Today, we will explore how to log into your Google account without using the traditional password, thanks to an access key.
Say Goodbye to Your Password
The traditional password has long been thought of as unshakeable. However, numerous studies reveal the limitations and weaknesses of this protection method. Many security experts highlight the vulnerabilities inherent in passwords, especially their predictability, exposure to brute force attacks, and susceptibility to human errors.
In fact, hardly a week goes by without hearing about an attack or data breach. Even password managers are not immune to this alarming trend.
Fortunately, innovative alternatives are emerging. With recent technological advancements, new security methods have surfaced, including the access key.
How Does the Passkey Work?
The access key, also known as passkey, represents a significant advancement in online security. By eliminating the dependence on traditional passwords, passkeys provide a more robust, safer, and more flexible authentication method.
Access keys rely on cryptographic key technology. Without delving into technical details, this authentication method represents the best in the field. It is widely used by numerous messaging applications for message encryption (end-to-end encryption).
Once set up on your online account or application, authentication is carried out using biometric identification (fingerprint, facial recognition), a PIN code, or a physical device (hardware security key supporting the FIDO2 protocol). You can choose the function that suits you best based on the security options offered by your smartphone.
Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up an Access Key on Your Google Account
As for computers, they must have at least MacOS Ventura or Windows 10 for PCs. Also, remember to update your web browser. The minimum use of Chrome 109, Safari 16, or Edge 109 is essential for the access key to function properly.
It’s also important to note that you should never create an access key on a shared device. Other computer users could then access your Google account and your personal information.
- Open your web browser
- Log into your Google account using your credentials (Gmail address and your password)
- Type this address into the URL field of your browser:
- You will be asked to re-enter your password to confirm your identity and ensure that it is indeed you who are attempting to make security changes to your account.
- You should see a new page titled Access Keys
- Click on the blue button Create an Access Key
- If you are using an Android smartphone configured with the same Google account, your access key will be created automatically. You will then only need to click on the blue button Use Access Keys
- Press the Continue button in the following windows
- The system will ask you to confirm your identity with the protection system set up on your PC or smartphone (facial recognition, fingerprint, or your device’s PIN code)
- Press the OK button
- The access key is now saved on your device
The next time you need to log into your Google account, the system will ask you to authenticate using your device’s usual unlock method. Note that it is possible to use your smartphone’s access key to log into Google from a computer. Here is how to do it.
- Launch your web browser on your PC or your Mac (Apple computer)
- Open a Google service page
- Click on the Sign In button
- Enter your email address in the corresponding field
- Click on the Try another way link then on the Use an Access Key button
- Select the option Use a phone or tablet
- A QR code will appear in the new window
- Scan it with the smartphone or tablet on which the access key was saved
You will then just need to use the unlocking device previously configured on your mobile device (PIN code, fingerprint, etc.). You are now connected to your Google account.
What Happens if You Lose the Device on Which the Passkey Was Saved?
You may be wondering what will become of your personal data in case of loss or theft of your smartphone? Rest assured, Google has put in place a mechanism to remotely delete an access key.
First, it’s important to note that the access key cannot work without your PIN code, your fingerprint, etc. This means that even if someone gets hold of your device, they will not be able to access your account.
However, for safety reasons, you should take the necessary steps to permanently delete the passkey saved on your device. To do this, you just need to log into your Google account using your password on another machine.
Using a passkey provides an advanced and secure authentication method far more effective than a simple password. Authentication by access keys also ensures the confidentiality of personal data while reducing the risks of hacking and phishing.
This system is gradually being deployed on an increasing number of applications and websites. Whether for banking services, social networks, messaging applications, or other online platforms, the benefits of passkeys as a login system are numerous. It would be a shame not to take advantage of it.
What is an Access Key and How Does it Enhance Security?
An access key, also known as a passkey, is a method of authentication that eliminates the need for traditional passwords. It uses cryptographic key technology for a more robust, safer, and flexible form of authentication. Access keys also protect against hacking and phishing attempts.
How Can I Set Up an Access Key on My Google Account?
Setting up an access key on your Google account involves a series of steps, including logging into your Google account, navigating to the Access Keys page, and following the prompts to create an access key. It’s recommended that your device runs on Android 9, iOS 16, or later versions and uses a minimum of Chrome 109, Safari 16, or Edge 109 for the access key to function properly.
What Should I Do If I Lose My Device with the Access Key?
If you lose your device with the access key, you should immediately log into your Google account on another machine using your password and delete the access key. Even if someone finds your device, they won’t be able to access your account without your PIN code, fingerprint, or other form of authentication. However, for safety reasons, it’s best to delete the passkey from your lost device as soon as possible.