Are passwords on the way out? Maybe. Considering they’re involved in over 80% of successful hacking incidents, their time should be up.
Many people hate them, and most can’t remember them. The alternative approved by Apple, Microsoft, Google, the FIDO Alliance, and World Wide Web Consortium is called a passkey. Security problems are so bad even the big three can agree on a standard.
Apple moved forward with implementation, supporting MACS, iPads, and iPhones. If a website or app supports a passkey, and you have an account, your passkey resides in your iCloud keychain. It’s available to your MAC, iPad, and iPhone the next time you want to log in.
How about Microsoft and Google? Google has passkeys available through Google Password Manager on Android. Last fall, the latest version of Chrome enabled passkeys on Windows 11, macOS, and Android.
What? Can you use passkeys on different platforms? Yes, passkeys work across various operating systems, browsers, websites, and apps, because significant players signed on to use one industry standard.
What about Microsoft? They’re slower to implement fully. But expect more uses for passkeys later this year.
How does a passkey work? A passkey ties to a specific username. You select your passkey on a site that supports them, and it lets you enter.
Passkeys are portable, moving from one device to another. Use your phone as the passkey device for the best functionality across sites. Unlike a password, the passkey has a private encrypted key stored on your device.
Your private key authorizes your entry into an app or site. Since it resides only on your devices and requires you to unlock them, access is secure. Won’t it be nice to kiss phishing and passwords goodbye?
Author: Kris Keppeler is a writer who finds technology fascinating and loves humor. She writes on Medium.com, and for Women of Wisdom. An award-winning podcast producer who enjoys telling funny stories. Follow her on Twitter @KrisNarrates or on LinkedIn.