W3C just made WebAuthn your official password-free web standard

Chris Burns - Mar 4, 2019, 3:11pm CST
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W3C just made WebAuthn your official password-free web standard

In the near future, you may find yourself able to toss away your internet login passwords altogether. With the authorization of the WebAuthn standard by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and FIDO this week, the internet just became a little more secure. WebAuthn is a technology with which people can log in to webpages through web browsers using biometrics, mobile devices, and FIDO security keys.

Internet Webpage Login Future

This is an important step forward for the internet. The big deal today is the approval by the World Wide Web Consortium of the adoption of Web Authentication (WebAuthn) – but the authentication specification itself isn’t strictly new. In fact WebAuthn is already supported in several major platforms.

• Android
• Apple Safari (in preview mode)
• Google Chrome
• Microsoft Edge
• Mozilla Firefox
• Windows 10 (OS)

You don’t really need to do a lot to get ready for this tech to play out. It’ll be in effect in the next several years, through a variety of devices and on the web browsers you use already. Basically your internet experience will become more secure than before, and you’ll barely have had to put forth any effort at all – yay!

Three ways you’ll log in

1. A FIDO security key right this moment is usually a USB stick that’ll plug in to the host computer (notebook or desktop). When you want to log in to a webpage, the web browser will check to make sure that key is plugged in to your computer. If the FIDO key is detected, your web browser will authorize the webpage to let you enter, just as if you’d entered a password in the past.

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2. Biometrics refer to the detection and measurement of the presence of your body – or at least one of your body parts. In this case, WebAuthn will work first with fingerprints and eye sensors. Fingerprint sensors and retina scanners are the most common biometric detectors on the market today.

3. Mobile Devices will use apps to provide codes for logins on desktop and laptop machines. That app will show the user a code, and the user will enter that code on the webpage on their desktop or laptop. If the code is correct, the user will be logged in.

Again, each of these methods are already activated in parts of the web. Eventually you’ll be using one, two, or all three of these methods for login on all your favorite websites. It’s only a matter of time!


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