First off, I’ll start by explaining this is not the case for the majority of websites at the moment. However, hopefully, over time we will get to a stage where we’ll no longer need to remember passwords to access websites. I don’t know about you but that idea excites me a lot. I’ve always been great at remembering passwords. That being said, it has got a lot more difficult and time-consuming in the last few years. The issue being all websites have different password rules, which can make it highly confusing. It basically means you’ve got to constantly reset passwords for sites you’ve not used in a while.
I had this exact problem at the weekend. I received an email from Uber Eats offering me £15 off a takeaway meal from any restaurant. This was a great deal, so I decided to use it on Saturday night. The problem was I’ve not signed into this website in a while and I forgot my password. I used what I’d normally use for such a website and it did not work. This immediately made me realise they obviously had different password rules, so I had to tweak my password a little, and simply could not remember it. When I tried to reset my password it sent an SMS text message to a phone number I no longer have access to. It was totally and utterly annoying and frustrating.
WEB AUTHENTICATION BY GOOGLE
This is where Google comes to the rescue. Google has a very good idea of what frustrates us, internet users, the most. The fact Google wants people to spend as much time on the internet as possible. This means they will do everything they can to make it an enjoyable experience. So thanks to there new web authentication. It’s now possible to access sites from your Chromebook by using your fingerprint if you have a Chromebook with a scanner or your PIN if you don’t. Find out how to set up a PIN on your Chromebook.
At the moment it only works with websites that have adopted this new technology. It’s a pretty limited list and includes sites such as Dropbox, Okta and GitHub. When you visit these sites on your Chromebook. You’ll be given the opportunity to use WebAuthn when you sign in again with that site in the future. Once you’ve signed up you’ll no longer need to remember the password to log in. I could not think of a more useful tool than this. It’s one of my biggest annoyances of how secure we’ve had to make our passwords due to all the scams out there.
NO RISK TO YOUR GOOGLE PASSWORD
The good news is Google does not share your Pin with the website. It simply confirms that you either entered your PIN correctly or not. If you’ve got a fingerprint scanner on your Chromebook you can simply use that instead. Also, because you’re only entering your PIN and not your Chromebook password. You don’t need to be concerned about whether the website will gain access to your Google Account password. This is something I’ve always been dubious about when logging into websites using my Google Account. Your PIN can only be used to login to your Chromebook, so it is worthless to anyone who does not have access to your Chromebook.
This makes me feel a lot more comfortable using this when it becomes widely available with other websites. Even though Google states your PIN is not shared. You always have that feeling of what happens if hackers find a way around it. Sure, I would not be happy if hackers did somehow find out what my PIN was. However, I’d be a lot more concerned if they found out my password to my Google Account.
The fact they can’t really do much with the PIN makes me feel like this will be taken up by a lot of people. The only thing I’d say, don’t use a PIN for your Chromebook that you use elsewhere, like your bank card for example. Use a PIN that means nothing to anything else in your life. That way, if the worst ever does happen, it will not really make a difference to your security.