Speaking at an RSA conference back in 2004, Bill Gates predicted the death of the password, saying that people would rely on them less and less over time. Nearly two decades later, passwords may be just as ubiquitous, but we’re finally happy to see Gates’ prediction inching closer to reality.
Passwordless authentication is having its big moment in the spotlight as several tech giants have made the leap toward decreased reliance on passwords. While this new login method isn’t foolproof, it provides much greater protection for your logins, and many see the technology as ushering in a new era of security.
Often, security improvements come at the expense of your user experience. With passwordless security, the opposite is true. Not only is it safer, but it’s also a more seamless way to access your accounts.
As the name implies, passwordless authentication allows you to verify your identity and log in to your accounts without a password. While there are several ways to achieve this, the method that’s getting the most traction lately uses passkeys—a pair of cryptographic keys (one public and one private) that are specific to each of your accounts.
So what would passwordless authentication look like for the average person? We put on our creative thinking caps to imagine the impact on your day-to-day digital life.
You wake up and reach for your mobile phone. You scroll through your social media feeds for a few minutes to get the scoop on all the important things.
While catching up on the latest pop culture trends (or maybe accidentally reading a spoiler about your favorite Netflix show), you don’t have to think twice about your logins. That’s because your authenticator (either your mobile device or password manager that supports passkeys) and the website did all the work for you.
As you were rubbing your sleepy eyes and opening TikTok, the app instantly authenticated you by pairing the public key stored on the provider’s server with the private key that’s only stored on your authenticator—all without you missing a beat.
And while you’re catching up and getting caffeinated before heading to work, you aren’t as concerned about your logins ending up on the dark web. You have peace of mind that a hacker isn’t going to try to phish your passkey credentials by sneaking in a malicious link through your social feed.
Throughout the day, you access your work email and various digital tools with passwordless authentication. You get peace of mind here, too, knowing your work accounts are protected. And you’re even happier that you never have to waste time resetting a password again.
You’re rushing to get ready for a presentation and accidentally click on a phishing email link. But you’re still in your zen zone—since your passkeys only work for the specific sites they were created for, they can’t be used to access your organization’s data through another app.
Today, your organization is onboarding your team to a new cloud collaboration app. You take a quick break from your presentation prep—since you don’t have to create and store a new password, you’re confident you can sail through the onboarding process.
All you have to do is allow the website to create the passkeys, and the authenticator stores them for you securely. You never have to worry about someone phishing the passkeys and using them on another site because each website creates a unique pair that only works for that account.
The IT team is happy, too, because they don’t have to manage passwords. According to the Gartner Group, between 20% to 50% of all help desk calls are for password resets. With all that time saved, the team can work on more meaningful things, like boosting your organization’s security culture.
After work, you quickly catch up on some personal chores. Maybe you log in to your bank’s website or app to review your accounts and transfer some money. With passwordless authentication, your financial information is much better protected from cybercriminals.
After dinner, it’s time to chill and unwind. You catch up on your favorite show with a friend or family member (doing your best not to tell them about those spoilers you read that morning). You share your audio and video streaming service account with a few family members, including your older parents, who aren’t very tech-savvy. Despite this shared access, you’re not concerned about your account being hacked due to a weak or reused password.
All through the day, you relied on passwordless, phishing-resistant authentication to provide access to your work and personal accounts. Of course, you never really thought about it. You had a great day with your secure access just a click or two away, but you know who didn’t? The malicious actors who were sniffing around for your passwords—their days weren’t so great after all.
Does a passwordless day sound like a dream? You can get there with Dashlane, the first password manager extension that offers passkey support for web authentication.
With Dashlane, you can manage all your logins—whether they’re passkeys, passwords, or a mix of both— without changing your online habits. Whether you’re working or playing, Dashlane makes your passwordless experience seamless and safe with secure sharing capabilities, access controls for businesses, multi-device sync, and multi-platform interoperability.