Google Simplifies 2-Step Verification for Android, iOS Users

Google has simplified its 2-step verification (2SV) mechanism by adding a straightforward way by which both Android and iOS users can approve sign-in requests.The Mountain View-based tech giant recognizes how important account security is to its users in an update posted to its blog:“We know that security is one of your top concerns as a Google Apps admin and that many of you require your employees to turn on 2-Step Verification (2SV) to keep their accounts safe.”2SV (which is different from 2-factor authentication) is an optional feature that a user can choose to activate on a variety of web accounts including Facebook, Twitter, PayPal, and Apple. It adds an additional layer of security by sending a sign-in request to a user’s phone or other device every time they attempt to log in to their account with their username and password.Previously, users could approve of 2SV sign-in requests for their Google accounts by one of two ways: entering a verification code sent to their phone by SMS or generated by the Google Authenticator app, or using a USB-based Security Key.Now users have an additional option in the form of approving a simple one-click sign-in prompt sent to their mobile devices.Users who are interested in switching to this new feature, which Google intends to roll out over the next three days, should access the Sign-in & Security > Signing in to Google > 2-Step Verification section of Google’s My Account page. There they can select which 2SV option they’d like to enable.To activate the one-click sign-in prompt, Android users will need to maintain an updated Google Play Services app on their devices, whereas iOS users will need to download the Google Search app.2SV helps to protect a user’s account, but it is only meant to supplement other web account security measures that are already in place.Google users should also make sure that they protect their accounts with a strong, unique password. For tips on creating a strong password, please click here.

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