Passkeys: end of the road for passwords as we know them?

1Password will soon let users log in to their account with no need for a password thanks to passkeys PHOTO: Supplied/ 1Password©

Too easy to hack and often tedious to remember, traditional passwords are gradually giving way to a more advanced system of encrypted passkeys. This technology, which uses biometrics, is becoming increasingly widespread. In fact, the well-known password manager 1Password is expected to start supporting passkeys this summer.

Currently, passkeys appear to be the best alternative to traditional passwords. In fact, they are much easier to use, much more complicated to steal or hack, and are based on standards that are now proven.

Apple and Google have made them available through some of their services. Now, more and more online services are switching to what is proving to be a much more secure solution than the old-fashioned password.

These passkeys take the form of unique digital keys, automatically generated and stored on smartphones. As they are never shared via the cloud, they cannot, in theory, be recovered through hacker attacks.

Biometrics allows these passkeys to be activated automatically, without the user having to remember any code. To do this, the user simply identifies themselves using a device’s fingerprint reader or facial recognition system.

The idea is that these passkeys will eventually replace the plethora of current passwords, or least — as will be the case for 1Password — the one that allows you to unlock your password manager account.

In the case of 1Password, the service already uses biometrics to allow users to connect to its service, but this does not completely replace the system of passwords, which can be requested at any time. In the future, it will be possible to authenticate log-in by automatically activating the passkey held on your mobile.

To connect from a PC, simply scan a QR code with your smartphone to authenticate your identity, again using your fingerprint or facial features. At 1Password, this new feature is expected to be available in summer 2023. Note that eBay and Paypal have already adopted this technology, which is becoming more and more popular.

The Citizen