Update: This feature, known as Google Sesame, has been taken down and it no longer works. Hopefully, Google will release an improved version of Google Sesame in near future.
Logging into your Google account on a public computer is a risky affair, thanks to keyloggers and scripts that can track every keystroke when you type in the username and password of your Google account in a web browser. We have earlier discussed some ways to bypass this problem but here is a simple solution which requires only an Android phone to get the job done.
If you have an Android smartphone, you can use a simple QR code to login to your Google account on any computer, directly from your Android phone. You don’t have to use the computer’s keyboard at all, as you can type your Gmail account credentials from the phone itself and Google’s QR code login system will log you in the computer’s web browser.
Here is how it works.
1. Go to the Android market and install a barcode scanner application. I use this one, its free!
2. When you want to login to your Gmail, Google Reader or the generic Google account from a public computer, refrain from using the regular sign in page. Go to http://goto.google.com/login instead
4. You will see a simple webpage containing only a QR code. Now open up the barcode scanner application on your Android phone and scan the QR code
5. When the app has scanned the QR code from the computer’s web browser, hit the “Open Browser” button. This will open up the Google account sign in page on your Android device, where all you have to do is type in the username and password of your Google account and hit “Sign in”.
6. The web browser of your Android device will show a big notification
“Stop! Only proceed if you arrived at this page by scanning a login barcode at Google.com”
Ignore this message and hit the “Start with Gmail” button.
As soon as you hit the “Start with Gmail” button, the web browser of your computer will refresh and you will be signed into your Google account. Turns out, this is a really smart way to bypass typing the username and password of your Google account on a public computer which you don’t trust. Pull out your Android, scan the QR code and you’re signed into your Google account on the computer’s web browser.
There are other geeky workarounds e.g the two step Google authentication system is ideal for low end phones which do not have a barcode scanner application installed. Thank you Martin.