Google Wants To Eliminate Password Login - InformationWeek
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12/22/2015
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Google Wants To Eliminate Password Login

Google has begun testing a password-free login method that enables users to log in using their smartphones.

Best Mobile Tech Of 2015: Our Top 10 List
Best Mobile Tech Of 2015: Our Top 10 List
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Google is experimenting with a password-free login method. A new feature promises to let you enter your account with a smartphone and skip the less-secure requirement of typing a password.

The idea is that users will begin the login process on the PC, but authorize the login through smartphone notification. It promises a more secure way to access Google accounts without using two-factor authentication.

This update comes from a Reddit user who wrote about his firsthand experience. Rohit Paul, or rp1226, received an email from Google inviting him to test the new login process on his personal device, along with a select group of account holders.

[Google, Apple and Facebook have the most-used apps of 2015.]

So how does it work?

According to Paul, you must first authorize your phone to enter the Google account. When you type in your email on the Google sign-in page, you'll receive a notification on your smartphone that will ask you to approve the login.

When you tap "yes," the computer will access your Google account -- no passwords necessary. Once your phone is authenticated, you'll be able to enter your account on new devices by using your smartphone.

In the event your phone is lost, dead, stolen, or forgotten, you have the option to access your account via regular password login. For an added security step, Google will prompt you to enter your password if it notices something strange about your login method.

"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 said to VentureBeat. "'Pizza,' 'password,' and '123456' -- your days are numbered."

This is Google's latest attempt to eliminate the traditional password, which it believes is a poor means of securing user accounts.

In a study released in May 2015, the tech giant revealed that even users' security questions are not secure enough to be used for account recovery. Most people can't remember the answers when they need to, and oftentimes hackers can guess the answer to questions like, "What's your favorite food?" (Pizza, of course.)

(Image: Rohit Paul/Reddit)

(Image: Rohit Paul/Reddit)

Earlier this year, Google aimed to improve security by launching a Chrome extension called Password Alert. The tool is built to protect user accounts by alerting them when they enter a Google Account password or a Google for Work password anywhere other than a Google login page.

Google also allows users to access their accounts through two-factor authentication, but it will need a simpler and faster method if it wants to convince the masses they should abandon their longtime password login. This new method could fit the bill.

It should be noted that the new login feature currently works for both iOS and Android devices. It's currently undergoing testing by a small group of Google users.

If you want to improve your account security but weren't invited to test out Google's newest experiment, you could opt to download a password manager. These mobile apps are designed to create and store secure passwords across all your devices.

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Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
1/2/2016 | 2:15:09 AM
Re: Password backup?
I am more than happy to get rid of password - remembering all passwords is not easy. I think anyway we need to keep password as the backup/last resort.
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
12/27/2015 | 7:42:37 AM
Re: Password backup?
@pedro: Although it may seem like a nice idea, it really isn't. Mostly because biometrics can be collected without your knowledge and can be used against you. Suppose you secured your phone with a fingerprint and used the same fingerprint for locking your gmail. If any hacker steals the information from gmail, he has the key to unlocking your phone as well.
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
12/27/2015 | 7:40:23 AM
Re: Password backup?
Biometrics would not need backups. But then again, you wouldn't be able to unlock Gmail with a finger that you haven't registered with Google. Moreover biometrics are changed into digital signatures having a Hex value. People can crack it up if they have got powerful enough algorithms to match the hex value with the contours of the fingerprints.
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
12/27/2015 | 7:37:49 AM
Re: Google: Put the rural folks in camps in cities
The last I heard, Google is experimenting a project of providing wireless and super fast internet access for people in the rural areas, mostly though the use of Wireless Network conducting balloons. I don't remember exactly what it is, but Google intends to blow up millions of balloons into the sky which will act as a sky internet relay network and provide anybody with free access if you are directly below the covering area of the balloons.
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
12/27/2015 | 7:34:37 AM
Re: Google: Put the rural folks in camps in cities
Someday Google would want your biometric data and would require you to register your gmail and Google services account with a fingerprint. And then it will be preaching the "do away with passwords" theme all the more.
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
12/23/2015 | 8:40:20 PM
Re: Google: Put the rural folks in camps in cities
You make some good points re: access. But I often don't get access and I live 20 miles outside NYC

Overall, the scheme Google cooked up sounds like an April Folls joke to me. When do we put out feet in water and whistle into the wind?

It's just too difficult.

I'm getting tired of considering every hairbrained scheme these peo[ple come up with
MichaelOFaolain
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MichaelOFaolain,
User Rank: Moderator
12/23/2015 | 3:10:06 PM
Google: Put the rural folks in camps in cities
Google, which has chosen to compete as a high speed internet provider in urban areas that already have high speed internet, apparently now intends to make their web services unavailable to folks who don't have cellular access?


I don't know who to contact at Google to suggest they might want to start reviewing every new idea from a rural point of view. Maybe they should open an office somewhere where the ISP choices are dialup and satellite and the only phone service is land line and give the employees there a veto power over every new idea until Google decides that any new bright idea can benefit 96% or more of Americans.

Or does Google have a secret policy of isolating rural Americans even further than we are  now?
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
12/23/2015 | 11:36:19 AM
Re: Password backup?
eliminating the password will be a real challenge.  Biometric hasn't really caught on as an alternative. That is correct, if i back up to the password, i'm back where i started.  The engineers at Google need to work a little harder to find new password alternatives.
bonj
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bonj,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/23/2015 | 9:16:18 AM
Password backup?
I have seen the comedy of relying on interaction with phones for authentication (buff.ly/1IDRsIC).  If the backup is right back to the password, have you utimately made it anymore secure?
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