Google is moving to two-factor authentication (2FA) across its ecosystem, a move security experts are praising. However, will the extra security measure be seen as a hindrance by users? Only time will tell.
Soon, Google will soon require two-factor authentication when signing into your Google accounts. Mark Risher, Google's director of product management for identity and security, sees two-factor authentication as the replacement for passwords which he called in a blog post, "The single biggest threat to your online security."
Google feels passwords are easily forgotten and easy to steal, and users tend to reuse passwords over time, weakening their strength.
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Google has been using 2FA to secure accounts, but now it will become mandatory instead of optional as it had been in the past. If you've enabled 2FA on your Google account then when you sign in, you will get a confirmation to confirm your identity on your phone, via email, or through the Google authentication app.
Soon, Google will automatically enroll users in its version of 2FA, which the company refers to as 2SV. I know many users will feel like, "we didn't ask for this," but here it is anyway; it's in your best interest to be more secure even if it seems pushy.
Jonathan Skelker, Google's product manager of account security, shared how the company's 2FA will roll out, stating "users that already have recovery information on their accounts, such as a phone number or secondary email. Google's security checkup page will alert you to let you know if you already have a two-factor authentication setup. If not, you will be prompted to do so.
"More factors means stronger protection, but we need to ensure users don’t get accidentally locked out of their accounts. That’s why we’re starting with the users for whom it’ll be the least disruptive change and plan to expand from there based on results," Google wrote in a statement.
Google appears to have a desire to eliminate passwords altogether. As Risher stated, "One day, we hope stolen passwords will be a thing of the past because passwords will be a thing of the past."
I, for one, can't wait to start forgetting passwords; with all the passwords and pins we have to remember to transverse the internet, I've started to forget more important things like my kid's birthdays and relationship anniversaries.