GOOGLE has announced that it will soon require fans to use a new, more secure way to log into their accounts.
Forced activation of two-factor authentication (2FA), which adds a second step to the sign-in process, will be rolled out by the end of 2021.
This decision will impact more than 150 million Google accounts worldwide, which are required to access services such as YouTube and Gmail.
Users of the popular Google Drive, Google Docs and Android smartphone operating system platforms will also be affected by the changes.
Once your account has activated 2FA, you will be asked to go through a second authentication step after entering your password when you log in.
This additional step involves Google sending a verification code to your smartphone by text or call which you then enter on the login page.
This means that anyone signing into the affected Google Accounts will need both the registered password and the access to the account holder’s mobile phone.
According to a blog post published by Google on Tuesday, this extra step makes the connection more secure and protects Google accounts from cyber crooks.
“In addition to passwords, we know that having a second form of authentication significantly reduces an attacker’s chances of gaining access to an account,” the US search giant said.
“Because we know the best way to protect our users is to enable our default security protections, we have started to automatically set our users’ accounts to a more secure state.
“By the end of 2021, we plan to automatically enroll 150 million additional Google users in 2SV and we need 2 million YouTube creators to activate it.”
The deadline for YouTube creators is November 1.
For now, Google is automatically registering accounts that have previously provided the company with account recovery information.
This can be a phone number, an authenticator app, or a secondary email address.
You can check if your account is eligible for auto-enrollment by visiting Google’s security check page.
It’s as if 2FA will be rolled out to more accounts in the future.
Commenting on the move, analysts praised Google for putting user security and privacy at the forefront of its software program.
Jake Moore, specialist at cybersecurity firm ESET, said: “This is the automated security the public has been waiting for, even if they haven’t yet heard about it.
“Using two-factor authentication on your account is often much easier than many people think – those who aren’t already using it are about to discover the simplicity and efficiency of the method. checklist, and it can even help them add it to their other online accounts.
“Two-factor authentication is only used by a very small minority of people and it is often thought that forcing it on users can keep them away from these platforms.
“However, it’s time to start giving users the helping hand they need to protect their accounts and their data.”
In other news, the login details of 11 million UK Facebook users were recently leaked to a hacker forum.
LG has announced that it is withdrawing from the smartphone market after nearly 15 years.
Scammers pose as contacts on Whatsapp to hack people’s phones.
And, The Sun recently shared some handy tips on how to keep your WhatsApp messages safe from nosy prying eyes.
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