Big tech companies are actively rolling out “Passkeys” – the next-generation replacement for the password. Amazon rolled out support to users just yesterday, and others are on the way.
Apple and Google have been leading the way with Passkeys through their accounts and mobile latest versions of their mobile-device operating systems which allow users to effectively replace the traditional password with a key, no longer needing to rely upon that relatively insecure means of login and can now use their mobile device’s face ID or fingerprint for authentication.
Within the next few years I expect most mainstream apps and services will adopt this infrastructure.
How to get started with Passkeys?
- Log into the account you would like to add a Passkey to. Amazon for example.
- Navigate to the account security section.
- Select “Passkey” or “Add a Passkey”
- When you click on “Add” it will trigger an automated process to sync a key with your existing Password manager or device. This is where it will somewhat depend on your existing device or choices. Personally, I use 1Password, so as soon as I click, it triggers 1Password to create my Passkey and pairs it with my existing username and password saved in the Password Manager.
If I did not have a Password Manager, then it might try to pair with my Apple Keychain or Google Password management. It all depends on what you already use.
How to use a Passkey to log in?
When you are logged out of a website that you have an existing Passkey for, you can essentially just tap your way through to log in without typing in anything. The device’s password manager will recognize the site, autofill the username & key for you and complete the login.
In the not-so-distant future, these Passkeys will be available not just from the biggest services from big tech, but from just about every app and website you visit.