Google is testing password-free logins

Google wants to kill the password

Google's quest to kill the password is gathering steam.

The U.S. search giant confirmed on Tuesday it is testing a way for users to log its in to services using just their smartphone and no password.

"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 said in a statement.

A user needs to authorize their mobile device to allow them to login with it. Then they would put their Gmail address into a Google login page on their desktop for example. A user will then get a message which reads, "trying to sign in?", after which they must open the notification. They are then able to sign in without a need for a password.

The login steps and trial were first flagged up by Reddit user Rohit Paul.

Users are still able to use their password to sign in to Google services if they wish, so even if the phone dies or isn't nearby, you can still log in. The alternative login method also only works on a phone that has a password-protected screen unlock, or a fingerprint identification method, so if you lose your phone, nobody else can log in to your accounts.

Passwords are often targeted by hackers in so-called phishing attacks, where they may send a scam email to an unsuspecting user asking for a password. Also, many people use the same password for several accounts and this is often a weak spot.

Google has been trialing other ways to bolster its security. The search giant already enables so called two-factor authentication, where a user is sent a text message with a code that they use to sign in to Google services.

Security has been a big focus for technology companies recently amid an increasing threat from hackers. Earlier this year, Yahoo released a similar no password login feature for its services called Yahoo Account Key.