Remembering a password could soon become a thing of the past after Apple introduced the new Passkeys at its Worldwide Developers Conference – a new secure sign-in method that’s confirmed with Face ID or Touch ID.
Passkeys is more secure and easier to use and may very well be the first step towards a password-free future.
Passkeys was first mentioned in the keynote while unveiling the new macOS Ventura software for Mac, but it will work across all Apple’s devices.
With Passkeys, a unique digital key is generated and stored on the secure enclave of your device.
This takes the place of a password which had to be long and complicated for greater security.
Once the digital key is generated it then needs a biometric verification which will be either Face ID or Touch ID before you can access your account. This acts like a two-factor authentication.
Now what’s different here is the fact that the digital key resides on your device rather than on an outside web server.
This means that if that particular company suffers a data breach, they will not have access to the unique and encrypted digital key.
And with a digital key instead of a password, cyber criminals can’t trick you into sharing it through a phishing email that may be posing as your bank or telco or utility company.
The digital passkeys would also be backed up securely in the iCloud Keychain so if you were to attempt to log in to the same account on your Mac, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV – all you would need is your Touch ID or Face ID to verify it’s you and access it.
You will also be log into a website with Passkeys on a non-Apple device using just your iPhone.
The site will generate a QR code which can be scanned by your iPhone before you verify it with your Touch ID or Face ID.
And Apple is not alone in its attempts to replace the password.
Google and Microsoft are also supporting this new authentication standard on their respective platforms after it was endorsed by the FIDO Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium.
Apple says the transition away from passwords won’t happen overnight, but it is working with developers to create a password-less future.