July 19, 2024
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X, formerly Twitter, is rolling out support for passkeys, a new and more secure login method compared with traditional passwords, to all iOS users globally. The option had first debuted in January, but only for iOS users in the U.S.

In an update to the X @Safety account on Monday, the company shared that passkeys are now available as a login option for global iOS users. Similar technology has already been added to other popular apps and services, including PayPalTikTokWhatsApp, GitHub, and others. Google last fall made passkeys the default sign-in option for all users. Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and other companies also support the option.

Passkey technology was initiated by Google, Apple, Microsoft, and the FIDO Alliance, alongside the World Wide Web Consortium. The idea is to make passwordless logins available across different devices, operating systems, and web browsers. Unlike traditional logins, which require a username and password combination, passkeys use biometric authentication like Face ID or Touch ID, a PIN, or a physical security authentication key to validate logins. The process combines the benefits of two-factor authentication (2FA) into a single step, making logins more seamless while maintaining increased security.

For X, the addition could help users protect their accounts against hacks from bad actors. The social network has seen a number of high-profile hacks over the years, including one in January where the U.S. Securities and Exchange’s X account shared an unauthorized post regarding Bitcoin ETF approval. Donald Trump Jr.’s X account was also hacked to post a fake message saying that Donald Trump had passed away. There was also a 2020 crypto scam that saw many larger accounts compromised, including Apple’s, President Biden’s, and X owner Elon Musk’s account, among others.

The addition could also help X users who previously relied on SMS 2FA to re-secure their accounts, as X announced last year that option would be removed for non-paying users. X had argued that the ost-cutting measure could be abused by bad actors, such as in the case of SIM swaps. But the reality is that it made X less secure.

X offers users instructions on how to get started with passkeys on iOS. There’s no word yet on when Android users will have the option.

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