Popular messaging service WhatsApp announced today the rollout of support for passkeys, a new authentication method designed to improve account security.

Passkeys are an emerging standard that replaces traditional passwords with authentication tied to a specific device. Rather than enter a text password, users authenticate with biometrics like face or fingerprint scanning.

Most users sign in on an Internet site and in apps with a username and password. Passwords are generally easy to access; anyone with your information can access your accounts. The new passkeys will use a totally different system, which will eliminate phishing attacks and the leaking of passwords. Each of these changes will help stem server breaches, saving untold password issues. The passkeys will be stored in Google Password where you can deploy two-step verification or have other security notifications sent.

Whatsapp said that the passkey functionality is beginning to roll out

The passkey itself is stored on the user’s device rather than on a remote server. WhatsApp revealed the new feature in a tweet earlier today:

“Android users can easily and securely log back in with passkeys. […] only your face, finger print, or pin unlocks your WhatsApp account.”

The company said the passkey functionality is beginning to roll out to all Android users, but widespread availability may take some time. Users can check if the feature is enabled for their account by going to Settings > Account > Passkeys within the WhatsApp app.

If enabled, users will see passkey options alongside existing two-factor authentication tools like SMS verification codes. The passkeys themselves are stored in the Google Password Manager for easy access across compatible apps and sites.

Passkeys represent a significant shift in how personal accounts are secured online. Where password leaks were once commonplace, passkeys offer a simpler and more secure method compared to traditional methods.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Trinity Kubassek; Pexels; Thank you!

Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.