Google added a new verification method for your signups this week: Use your Android phone as a physical security key for two-factor authentication. You should use two-factor authentication to log in to websites so that even if someone has your password due to a data breach, they can no longer access it. And now with the new feature, if you use an Android phone 7 or higher you also have a handy security key.
This is more secure than many other 2FA options (like using SMS) because your phone checks in to your computer via Bluetooth to make sure you're on the right website and not tampered with. SMS can be hacked, and most other secondary methods of verifying your logins can not check if you are trying to log in to the right site.
- If you're not yet adding a Google Account, add a Google Account to your phone by going to Settings> Accounts> Adding Account> Google.
- Then on your computer Open a Google Chrome browser.
- Go to myaccount.google.com/security in Chrome and click 2-Step Verification.
- If you have not set up confirmation in two steps, go to this website and follow these instructions. The TL; DR is that you need to sign in, enter a phone number, and choose which secondary verification methods you want, which brings you back to …
- Scroll down the list of secondary methods and select "Add Security Key".
- Select your phone from the list of options. it should be displayed automatically.
That's it! You have set your phone as a security key and can now sign in to Gmail, Google Cloud, and other Google services and use your phone as a secondary verification method. Just make sure your phone is near your computer when you try to sign in. The computer will then inform you that a prompt is being displayed on the phone. Tap the prompt to confirm your registration and you're done!
Here are some screenshots of what it looks like when prompted to sign in on your phone. It's similar to what Google Prompt already looks like, with the main difference being that your phone checks the website to confirm that it's the right one.
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