Google is taking a new step to boost the security of users’ Google accounts and services that are linked to them. For this, Google has come up with a new version of the 2-step verification (2SV) which turns the user’s Android smartphone into a physical security key. The 2-step verification is also known as the 2-factor authentication (2FA) and in the new version, Google doesn’t send a text message on the smartphone with the verification code like it did before. Instead, it sends out a prompt on the connected smartphone to make sure that the person who is trying to log into a Google account or service is the legitimate user or not.
Google revealed this news on its official blog post where it said that all smartphones running Android 7.0 or version than that, can use their devices as a physical security key. The said security key verifies and authenticates the access to Google services such as Gmail or Google Drive linked to the user’s personal or work account. This new feature is also available for users who are part of Google’s Advanced Protection program.
The users who wish to activate Google’s new 2SV/2FA process need to run the latest version of the Google Chrome browser on their secondary device. It can be done on any platform – Chrome OS, macOS X or Windows 10. Then they need to follow the steps mentioned below:
- The users need to connect their smartphones with a Bluetooth-supported computer.
- Once the pairing between the two devices is done, they need to go to ‘myaccount.google.com/security’ and activate the 2-step verification if it is not already activated.
- Once the 2-step verification settings are open, they need to scroll down and tap the ‘Set up an alternative second step’.
- Once it is done, the users need to tap the ‘Add security key’ button.
- After this, they need to select the linked Android smartphone from the list of available devices given there.
- After the device is selected, the users will receive a prompt on the selected Android smartphone before logging in to a Google account from another device.
- When the 2SV prompt is received, the users will need to click on the “Yes” button.
Earlier, the users would receive a text message with a verification code which had to be entered in order to get access to their accounts.
It should be noted that, the new 2SV/2FA verification process works only for Google and its services and not for third-party apps or services for now. But, the California-based technology company is planning to add support for third-party services in the near future.
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