Google starts implementing automatic two-step verification for Google account holders
Earlier this year, Google announced its plans to make two-step verification (2SV) a default feature for user accounts. It now appears that the plan has been set in motion.
A report from Android Police took note of a couple of Reddit posts confirming that 2SV was automatically enabled for their Google accounts. This corresponds with Google’s announcement in May, which it reiterated last month, that it plans on activating 2SV by default for all Google account users.
The 2SV method, also known as two-factor authentication, is one of the most common options to increase the level of security for all sorts of online accounts. With cybercrooks getting even more creative, just having passwords does not entirely guarantee online security. There are several ways 2SV is implemented, such as sending one-time passwords sent through SMS or email after the user has entered the right account password.
In a blog post last month, Google said it plans on auto-enrolling 150 million account users by the end of 2021. It is then not surprising that people are starting to see 2SV prompts this week. The company added that it would “require” two million YouTube creators to enable 2SV this year.
Some who were caught off guard with the 2SV auto-enrollment are facing issues, especially if they cannot use or have lost their phones where their Google account is linked. On a support page, Google says users can turn to their recovery email to sign in. The company also noted that they would issue a notice seven days before automatically enabling 2SV on an account.
Logging in with 2SV may seem tedious for some users, despite the promise of added security for their personal accounts. For now, those who were surprised with the auto-enrollment have the option to disable it after they have logged in.
“We also recognize that today’s 2SV options aren’t suitable for everyone, so we are working on technologies that provide a convenient, secure authentication experience and reduce the reliance on passwords in the long-term,” Google said. “Right now we are auto-enrolling Google accounts that have the proper backup mechanisms in place to make a seamless transition to 2SV.”
However, Google also confirmed on the same support page, “Soon, 2-Step Verification will be required for most Google Accounts.” So might as well get used to it now and provide the necessary information to properly set up 2SV.