Google supports security keys in Chrome

With support for security keys, Chrome for Mac and Windows will offer a more secure and easier to use key-based identification mode than passwords.

The year 2023 could well be the year of the end of the password in browsers. After Apple announced support for the Safari login standard in macOS 13 and iOS 16, Google in turn announced that access keys or “passkeys” are now supported in the stable version M108 of Chrome . This simpler and more secure option for websites provides the ability to use an encrypted key instead of a password to authenticate apps and websites.

The process is similar to two-factor authentication: a handheld device is used to validate the user’s credentials, but the user will not need to set or remember an actual password or use a single-use code. Instead, the device produces a private key that acts as a login password when the device is near the computer. As Google puts it simply: From a user’s perspective, using “passkeys” is very comparable to using saved passwords, but with significantly greater security.

Accelerate adoption in the coming months

The process implemented in Chrome resembles that of Safari. When the user logs into a website from a Mac, they are prompted to create a password with their username on their iPhone via Bluetooth or using a QR code. Once authenticated using a bio or device passcode, the passkey is stored on their device and is used to authorize access. Authentication by “passkey” will be saved on his device.

Google says that in an upcoming update, access keys on macOS will be synced. Apple requires two-factor authentication to be enabled for Apple ID when creating passkeys. They are also end-to-end encrypted in iCloud Keychain. It took quite a while for “security keys” to become mainstream, but now that both Google and Apple support them in their browsers, adoption should accelerate. The feature was rolled out with build 108.0.5359.98. Note that it is possible to see your access keys in the Autofill section of Chrome’s preferences.

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