Online security concerns mean that we have become reliant on passwords to access so many different services. The sensible and secure route to take is to use a unique password for every site and service you access, but unless you have a record-breaking memory, this can prove tricky. Google has a solution: ditch the password entirely.
While this may be seen as a step down from the two-factor authentication that so many companies have been pushing for in recent years, it is actually quite similar in many respects. Google's method focuses on speed and convenience, and still requires the use of a smartphone.
The new password-free methods of logging into accounts is not something that is being made available to everyone just yet, just a select group of testers. Assuming your phone has been linked to your Google account, when the time comes to log in, all you need to do is enter your email address. A confirmation is then sent to your phone, and you can complete the log in process by tapping the Yes button that appears.
As many people tend to have their phones all but surgically attached to their body, it seems like a sensible and relatively secure means of authentication. It's currently being tested on iOS and Android through the Sign-In Experiments at Google group, and in a statement to TechCrunch Google said:
We've invited a small group of users to help test a new way to sign-in to their Google accounts, no password required. 'Pizza', 'password' and '123456' -- your days are numbered.
Should you find that you need to log into your account when you do not have your phone, or your battery is dead, it is still possible to use a password in the usual way. Could this be the end of the password as we know it?