Gawd, I had having to deal with passwords. Chrome is always telling me that a bunch of my passwords have been compromised (luckily not for any important sites) which has scrambling to change them. And I hate being prompted to change my password on certain sites every four or six weeks.
Yes, a password manager like LastPass or 1Password helps. But it’s annoying to have to synchronize this strategy across a bunch of different devices. (Some password managers do this, but not all.)
Even then, these passwords are store on the website we want to access. They’re supposed to be kept secure, but if you’ve ever received a notice saying that a particular site has been compromised, it goes without saying that the security used wasn’t very good.
Given that at least two billion sets of credentials (including things like passwords) were leaked online in 2021, we obviously have a big problem. This is where Apple wants to step in.
With the new iOS16 operating system, Apple will introduce Passkeys, first for compatible phones and then other devices. The optional feature works like this.
If you go to a website that requires a password, Passkey will give you the option to create a unique pair of secret keys. One of them is stored on that website. The other remains locked on your device. When you log in to that website, you’ll verify things biometrically with your finger or a face scan. Once the device recognizes you, it will use its key to prove your identity to the website using weird math.
Long story short, no one can pretend to be you without your private key. If the website is compromised, no big deal because the crooks can’t use anything on that site to get to you. (Okay, so criminals steal your device and then fake your fingerprint or your face scan, but that’s not very likely.) Bottom line? No more juggling dozens of passwords.
Apple will be first with iPhones. Microsoft and Google are both looking at the technology. Once everyone gets on the same page with standards, this should go a long way toward eliminating password angst.