Google has announced to enable two-factor authentication (2FA) by default to secure users and protect them online. The company said that users with “appropriately configured” accounts will have two-factor authentication enabled automatically. The 2FA – or two-step verification (2SV) – option has been available to users as an option for a long time, but now users will be automatically enrolled in it.
On World Password Day, Google published a blog post describing the move:
Soon we’ll start automatically enrolling users in 2SV if their accounts are appropriately configured. (You can check the status of your account in our Security Checkup). Using their mobile device to sign in gives people a safer and more secure authentication experience than passwords alone.
We are also building advanced security technologies into devices to make this multi-factor authentication seamless and even more secure than a password.
Google mentioned in the blog post that searches for “how strong is my password” increased by 300 percent in 2020, and even the strongest password “can be compromised and used by an attacker.” The search giant also said that two-factor authentication is one of the best ways to protect one’s account as it adds an additional security layer. After verifying the account password, users are required to confirm their identity using an alternative method as part of the second factor.
Google is also encouraging users to use its new Password Import feature that allows them to easily upload up to 1,000 passwords at a time from various third-party sites into Password Manager for free. It can be used on the web, iOS, and Android.
Passwords are the biggest threat to users’ online security as they can be easily stolen and managing different passwords for various platforms can be tedious. According to Google, “66% of Americans admit to using the same password across multiple sites.” For a secured account, it’s always better to create unique passwords across multiple sites than to reuse the same password.
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