Early last year Google rolled out Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), or as the company calls it two-step verification automatically as an extra layer of security for its users. 2FA is when you use an additional method to verify your identity/account entry, this can be through a One Time Password (OTP) via SMS, call or through an Authentication application. According to Google, the rollout of auto or default 2FA was done for 150 million accounts and to over 2 million YouTube creators. As a result of this initiative, Google saw a 50% decrease in accounts being compromised.
“This decrease speaks volumes to how effective having a second form of verification can be in protecting your data and personal information. And while we’re proud of these initial results, and happy with the response we have received from our users and the community, we’re excited about other ongoing work we’re doing behind the scenes to make our users even safer.”Google
Google went on to say that is working on other ways to better secure accounts like a browsing option that keeps users away from harmful websites.
Here’s how you can turn on 2FA for you Google account(s)
The drop in account breaches due to 2FA is not too surprising because of the added layer that a would-be hacker would need to be skilled enough to overcome. If you haven’t already done so take a Google Security Checkup which gives you a personalised way of better securing your account.
Additionally, you can turn on 2FA for your Google account(s) by following the following steps:
- Open your Google Account.
- In the navigation panel, select Security.
- Under “Signing in to Google,” select 2-Step Verification and then Get started.
- Follow the on-screen steps.
I recommend you use an Authenticator app like Google’s own for 2FA if you have a smartphone. It’s much safer than SMS because all the codes are housed on your device and auto-generated. Google’s Authenticator is an app I have been using for my own accounts and it works even if the device isn’t connected to the internet. We wrote an article about how you can set it up and you can find that in the link below: