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Google just made using two-factor authentication a complete no-brainer

Published Apr 19th, 2018 11:34PM EDT
Gmail two step authentication app
Image: Shutterstock

If you’re not using two-factor authentication on every single important online account, especially including your primary email account, you should probably rethink your security priorities. Unfortunately, the inconvenience of some two-factor systems keep users who “don’t think I have anything to lose” away from the system, making them far more vulnerable.

Google has one of the best and most secure two-factor systems available on any major product. Since last year, Google has encouraged users to use “device prompts,” which are a push notification sent to your existing Android device, or the Google app on iOS. As of today, however, device prompts have become even more convenient, as iOS users only need to have the Gmail app installed.

Provided that you have two-factor authentication turned on and device prompts enabled within your Google account, you’ll now be able to authorize access directly from the Gmail app. When logging in to Google from a new device or browser, you’ll be asked to tap ‘OK’ on one of your devices. Open up the Gmail app on iOS, and you should see the same prompt. Tap OK, and you’ll be authorized to log in on the new device.

Of course, you can still use your backup authentication options like text messages, the Authenticator app, or a second email if you have those enabled.

Here’s how to set up two-factor authentication if you haven’t already:

  1. Go to the 2-Step Verification page. You might have to sign in to your Google Account.
  2. Select Get started.
  3. Follow the step-by-step setup process.