Normally I wouldn’t dare log into my Gmail account from a public terminal, but this QR based login from Google is definitely a step in the right direction from a security standpoint.
As first reported by Ian Paul from PC World, you can now securely log into your Gmail account without typing your username or password into a computer.
It works by using your iPhone as the means for authentication instead, and it’s a pretty slick way of staying relatively secure from would be password jackers. Video demonstration inside.
Step 1: To use the service, all you need to do is navigate to https://accounts.google.com/sesame on your computer. There, you will be presented with a QR code that will assist you in the login process.
Step 2: Next, load up the Google app on your iPhone, and take a picture of the QR code using the camera option.
Step 3: If you’re already logged into the Google app, it should ask you to “start with Gmail”. Tap that button, and the page with the QR code will be automatically logged into your Gmail account. If you’re not logged into the Google app, it should ask you for your credentials, and afterwards log you in.
This seems like a relatively secure method for logging into your account from a public place. You will still need to keep a few security tips in mind as Paul brings out in his article, but if you use some good security sense, chances are you’ll be okay.
In the end I still wouldn’t recommend making it a regular habit of logging into your accounts from public places, or via free Wi-fi, but if you’re in a pickle, this can give you some peace of mind.
What do you think about logging into your Gmail account this way?