Google is testing a new password authentication feature that allows users to log into their Google accounts using their phones for identification, bypassing the step of entering a password.
The feature uses your phone to authenticate your identity by bringing up a notification that allows you to grant or deny access to your account.
A Google spokesperson told tech website The Verge: “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,” he said.
Once a user authorizes their mobile device, they’re able to input their account credentials on any computer and receive a notification on their smartphone.
A notification will then appear on their phone asking if someone is trying to sign in to the Google account. If you tap “yes,” the login is approved.
The device must have some type of screen lock security feature, as unlocking your phone is a prerequisite to approving or denying access to the account with this method. You’re still given the option to log in with your regular password if you so choose. Google’s email to participating users explains how you can deactivate a lost device, as well as add a new one in the event you upgrade your handset.
This would be especially useful for those who always have their phone nearby while using Google services on other devices, like their computer, as well as those who have long and complicated passwords that are difficult to type.
It could also help to protect against phishing – something that Google addresses today through its password alert tool.