Instead of having to remember lots of long and complicated computer passwords and typing them in, Google imagines a future where passwords will be physical. This could include inserting a USB drive to check your emails, tapping a ring to enable access to accounts, or using a device like a smartphone to authorize new computers.
In a new research paper, which is due to be published later this month in the engineering journal IEEE Security & Privacy Magazine, two security experts from Google discuss the different ways people could be logging on in future.
VP of security Eric Grosse and engineer Mayank Upadhyay believe that passwords and simple bearer tokens are no longer sufficient to keep users safe. Wired reports:
They’re experimenting with new ways to replace the password, including a tiny Yubico cryptographic card that — when slid into a USB (Universal Serial Bus) reader — can automatically log a web surfer into Google.
You can authenticate this USB stick on the website with a simple click and then use it to access your email and online accounts. This device, or a smartphone or smart-ring, could be used to add an extra layer of security and reduce the need for complicated passwords that are hard to remember.