GOOGLE has announced that it will soon require fans to use a new, more secure way of logging in to their accounts.
The enforced enabling of two-factor authentication (2FA), which adds a second step to the login process, will roll out by the end of 2021.
Google will enable two-factor authentication on 150million Google accounts by 2022Credit: Google
The move will impact more than 150million Google accounts around the world, which are required to access services such as YouTube and Gmail.
Users of popular platforms Google Drive, Google Docs and the Android smartphone operating system will also be affected by the changes.
Once your account has 2FA enabled, you’ll be asked to go through a second authentication step after plugging in your password when you sign in.
This extra step involves Google sending a verification code to your smartphone via text or call that you then enter on the login page.
It means anyone logging on to the affected Google accounts will need both the registered password and access to the account holder’s mobile phone.
According to a blog post posted by Google on Tuesday, the extra step makes signing in safer and protects Google accounts from cyber crooks.
“In addition to passwords, we know that having a second form of authentication dramatically decreases an attacker’s chance of gaining access to an account,” the US search giant said.
“Because we know the best way to keep our users safe is to turn on our security protections by default, we have started to automatically configure our users’ accounts into a more secure state.
“By the end of 2021, we plan to auto-enroll an additional 150 million Google users in 2SV and require 2 million YouTube creators to turn it on.”
The deadline for YouTube creators is November 1.
For now, Google is auto-enrolling accounts that have already supplied the company with account recovery information.
That could be a phone number, authenticator app, or secondary email address.
You can check whether your account is eligible for the auto-enrolment by visiting Google’s Security Checkup page.
It’s like that 2FA will be rolled out to more accounts in future.
Commenting on the move, analysts praised Google for putting user security and privacy at the forefront of its software agenda.
Jake Moore, a specialist at cybersecurity firm ESET, said: “This is the automated security the public have been waiting for, even if they did not know it yet.
“Using two factor authentication on your account is often far easier than many people realise – those who don’t already use it are about to find out the simplicity and efficiency of the verification method on offer, and it may even help them add it to their other online accounts.
“Two-factor authentication is used only by a very small minority of people and it is often thought that forcing it upon users may push them away from those platforms.
“However, it is time to start giving users the helping hand they require to protect their accounts and their data.”
You need a Google account to sign in to services such as YouTube, Gmail and Google DriveCredit: Getty
In other news, the login details of 11million Facebook users in the UK was recently leaked to a hacker forum.
LG has announced that it is bowing out of the smartphone business after almost 15 years.
Fraudsters are posing as contacts on Whatsapp to hack into people’s phones.
And, The Sun recently shared some handy tips on how to protect your WhatsApp messages from the prying eyes of snoopers.
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