Admit it, you have accounts to many websites on the internet. Most of you only has one or two passwords you use for all the accounts you have. I admit it, I use three passwords for all the accounts I use. Google sees this as a big problem. Google believes that passwords are no longer enough to keep users safe online. Google engineers are experimenting with new ways to replace user passwords with a tiny YubiKey cryptographic card that would automatically log people into Gmail.
In the future, Google engineers hope to find even easier ways for people to log in not just to Google properties, but to sites across the Internet. They envision a single smartphone or smartcard device that would act like a house or car key, allowing people access to all the services they consume online. They see people authenticating with a single device and then using it everywhere. Google has always been in the forefront of keeping people’s accounts safe from hackers. A few years ago, Google introduced a two-step login option which makes it harder for criminals to break into your account. With this option, Google typically sends users a secret code via text message every time they try to log into their accounts from a new computer.
Google invisions having people using their smartphone or smartcard-embedded finger ring to authorize a new computer via a tap on the computer, even in situations where your phone might be without cellular connectivity. Google is looking at the YubiKey cryptographic card. When you slide this card into a USB (Universal Serial Bus) reader — it can automatically log a web surfer into Google. They’ve had to modify Google’s web browser to work with these cards, but there’s no software to download and once the browser support is there, they’re easy to use. You log into the website, plug-in the USB stick and then register it with a single mouse click.
Google sees a future where you authenticate one device like your smartphone or something like a Yubico key — and then use that almost like a car key, to fire up your web mail and online accounts! Google also wants to see things even easier like connecting to the computer via wireless technology. This is a future I would love seeing!
Learn more about Yubico at: http://www.yubico.com/.
- Google looks to ditch passwords for good with NFC-based replacement (zdnet.com)
- Thoughts on Google, YubiCo, and “The War on Passwords” (machinesplusminds.blogspot.com)
- Google taps Yubico for password USB rings of the future (slashgear.com)
- Forget that password, Google wants to replace it with USB keys and ‘smart rings’ (digitaltrends.com)