On supported sites like Dropbox, GitHub, or Okta, Chrome OS is now supporting the ability to log in to websites using your fingerprint ID or PIN code! Basically, any site that supports what’s called “WebAuthn” will let your sign in much faster than typing a lengthy password.
I hear you saying already that you use Chrome’s autofill and save your passwords for quick access, (unless you’re the person saying you absolutely do not). Well, Webauthn can be used as a form of 2-Step Verification for these accounts as well. This means that instead of having to retrieve your phone for an SMS code or authenticator app, you can simply enter your PIN or touch your fingerprint reader to proceed!
This may go without saying, but in order to use this feature, you’ll need to set up a PIN code or fingerprint unlock in your Chromebook’s settings under People > Security and sign-in. I recommend that if you do opt for using your fingerprint reader, you set up one or two fingers on each hand, not just your index finger or thumb on your dominant one. There are several reasons for this, but it’s primarily a matter of convenience.
I know this doesn’t exactly spell death to the password, but it’s a step in that direction and I’ll take it. The closer we get to utilizing biometrics for everything, the more secure and less annoying it will be to manage our digital identities across the web.