About Google's Simplify your sign-in prompts
Simplify your sign-in is a prompt that personal Google customers may see when they sign-in to their Google account. It is an offer to switch from using a password to sign-in to the account to using passkeys. Passkeys are a new form of authentication that is said to replace passwords in the coming years in many areas.
Put simply, a passkey is a pair of keys that is generated on the local device. A public part of the key is shared with remote services, such as servers or websites. Once set up, users sign-in using their device's PIN, biometric options such as a fingerprint, or by using hardware solutions that promise even greater security.
Google announced today that it is making passwordless the default for all personal accounts. Passwordless is often used as a synonym for passkeys. Google users had to set up passkeys manually before.
Google users may see a prompt -- Simplify your sign-in prompts -- when they try to sign-in to their Google account. Google recommends to use passkeys. The prompt explains that passkeys allow users to sign-in using fingerprint, face or screen lock pins for verification. Passwords are not removed entirely from the account though. Passkeys are generated on the local device. While it is possible to transfer the information to other user devices, it is not the default option.
The prompt has just two options: not now or continue. Not now skips the switch to passkeys for the time, continue starts the process of setting up passkeys on the device.
How to stop Google from prompting you to use passkeys
Note that there is no direct option to stop Google from prompting you again at a later point. While there is an option to prevent additional prompts, at least until Google decides to reset the relevant account setting, it is not linked directly.
Google users who don't want to use passkeys at this point need to do the following to prevent prompts to switch in the future:
- Load the "Skip passwords when possible" configuration page on the Google My Account website.
- Toggle the setting to off.
You can undo the change at any time by repeating the process. Just make sure that the skip password when possible option is set to On in this case.
Should you take the plunge and set up passkeys for your Google account? There is no definitive answer, as use cases differ. Passkeys offer several advantages, especially in regards to password stealing attacks, such as phishing, and server attacks, as no vital authentication information is stored on the server if passkeys are used.
Passwords won't go away anytime soon on the other hand, and support is rather limited currently when it comes to passwordless sign-in options.
The majority of users will benefit from passkeys in the long run. Whether it is a good time to start using them is still up for debate.
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