Google’s plan to do away with passwords is taking a step forward. The tech giant is experimenting with a method for users to log into their Google accounts using only their mobile phones and without having to type in a memorized string of characters. Rohit Paul, an Android owner posted about him being invited to try it out and posted screenshots of the process on Reddit.
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. 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. Users can still input their respective passwords if they opt to. Users may also deactivate a lost device as well as add a new handset in case they upgrade.
“We’ve invited a small group of users to help test a new way to sign-in to their Google accounts, no password required,” a Google spokesperson told The Verge in a statement. “‘Pizza,’ ‘password,’ and ‘123456’ — your days are numbered.”
This is in line with efforts to alleviate hacking due to commonly used passwords. Google also says that this is a tool against hackers that rely on passwords to conduct phishing operations. A phishing attack tricks users into entering sensitive information by replacing legitimate login windows with disguised versions designed to capture and store the data.
This test joins a number of other Google initiatives aimed at improving security. Google has one of the most robust two-factor authentication services of any tech giant, meaning millions of Google account owners now sign in on the web using a code sent to them via text message. The company also has its Authenticator app, which generates a unique code on your mobile device to confirm your identity when signing into Google and third-party web services on a computer. In April, the company released the Password Alert Chrome extension designed to notify users when they may have input their password into a non-Google website.