You know what we, as people, are bad at? Passwords. We use weak passwords, re-use strong passwords, or worse—both. There are two easy solutions here: using a password manager and enabling 2FA (two factor authentication) on your accounts. Google is going to help with the latter by doing it for you.
Google has offered 2FA, or as the company calls it “2SV” (two step verification), to users for a long time. It has enabled new, simple ways for users to get that second step—from codes sent over SMS, to integration with apps like Authy, to tapping “yes” on your phone, there’s no shortage of ways to prove that you are the one trying to login to your device.
In fact, it’s become so easy, Google is going to start enabling 2FA/2SV automatically for users who have their accounts “appropriately configured.” The company didn’t specify what exactly that configuration looks like, but notes that you can check your account in the Security Checkup.
While I fully expect a knee-jerk reaction to this move, it’s really a good idea. The “tap yes” option for 2FA/2SV is one of little resistance, so everyone should be using it. Basically, when you try to log in to your Google account, you’ll also need to unlock your phone and confirm it’s you trying to sign in. This works on both iOS and Android and takes all of five extra seconds when trying to access your Google account.
This adds an extra layer of security by confirming that you are in possession of your phone and are also trying to log in to your account. If you get this notification and you aren’t trying to log in, then you know something is amiss and have the option to deny entry. Easy peasy.
Ultimately, this is a good thing that will keep your Google account more secure. It’ll be up to you to enable 2FA on all of your other accounts, though. Baby steps.