LOCAL NEWS

Bye-bye passwords: Google and other tech giants steering users to passkeys for greater cybersecurity

Oct 25, 2023, 10:53 PM | Updated: Oct 26, 2023, 6:38 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Whether it’s a major data breach affecting millions or a small-scale breach just targeting your email or bank accounts, typically there is one common denominator – passwords.

Because many of us often use the same password for many of our online accounts – even though we’re not supposed to – bad guys can have a relatively easy time of cracking bank and other critical accounts on the internet. It is costing consumers and businesses a lot of money.

In fact, cybersecurity researcher Cybersecurity Ventures predicts the global cost of cybercrime to reach $8 trillion this year. By 2025, that loss is expected to grow to as much as $10.5 trillion.

(KSL TV)

Now, internet behemoth Google has a plan to make compromised passwords a thing of the past.

“So, passkeys are completely eliminating passwords,” said Google’s Kimberly Samra, who says her company is excited about getting people to switch to passkeys.

“A passkey is a more secure, easier-use alternative to passwords,” she said.

Google says passkeys let users sign into apps and websites the same way they unlock their devices: Using a PIN, fingerprint or facial recognition.

And, unlike passwords, passkeys are resistant to online attacks because it’s not like you are sharing scans of your face or thumbprints. Samra said passkeys are even more secure than two-step authentication – which bad guys have become adept at getting around.

(KSL TV)

“Those are what we call really band-aids for passwords, right, making passwords more secure since they’ve been around for a long time,” she said. “With passkeys, we want to eliminate all of those extra band-aids and all those extra cracks and just completely secure your account.”

Google is already making the passkey its default log-in method for its personal accounts. Passkeys are also supported by Microsoft and Apple. And Amazon has rolled out passkeys for its website and mobile apps. Still, Google says passwords are not going away anytime soon. Too many people still rely on them.

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Bye-bye passwords: Google and other tech giants steering users to passkeys for greater cybersecurity