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Google Tests Password-Free Logins Using Just Your Phone

by Devin Coldewey /
A screenshot posted by Reddit user Rohit Paul of the new Google sign-in process.
A screenshot posted by Reddit user Rohit Paul of the new Google sign-in process.Rohit Paul / Google

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Google is testing out a new way to log into its services that requires no password, just a couple taps on your phone.

The new method could be handy when logging in from a new location like a friend's computer, if your password is long or complicated, or you've just forgotten it. Instead, you just put in your email address (assuming you remember that) and Google will ping your phone with a notification that you must answer.

Of course, if you'd rather just use your password as normal, that will always be an option too.

A screenshot posted by Reddit user Rohit Paul of the new Google sign-in process.
A screenshot posted by Reddit user Rohit Paul of the new Google sign-in process.Rohit Paul / Google

The feature was originally discovered by Reddit user Rohit Paul, who posted details to the Android community at the social news site. Google confirmed the tests in a statement sent to NBC News:

"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," the company wrote.

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It's a bit like "two-factor authentication," in which users must provide both their password and an OK sent from their phone or tablet — except in this case it's only the second part. After all, many users employ weak passwords or share them between sites, so this method may save a few keystrokes and be more secure. Phishing scams, for instance, will be stymied if a user doesn't confirm a fraudulent login with their phone.

Right now the feature is invite-only; Google did not give any indication when or if the rest of its many users will get a chance to try it out.

Related: What Did People Google in 2015? Top Searches Revealed

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