GOOGLE has said passwords are “the single biggest threat to your online security” and it’s planning to enforce multi-step authentication for its users.
Two-factor authentication is becoming increasingly popular and can involve you needing a password and a passcode that’s texted to you.
Google thinks passwords on their own aren’t strong enough protectionCredit: Alamy
Google’s product management director Mark Risher made the announcement on a recent blogpost to celebrate World Password Day.
He said: “Today we ask people who have enrolled in two-step verification (2SV) to confirm it’s really them with a simple tap via a Google prompt on their phone whenever they sign in.
“Soon we’ll start automatically enrolling users in 2SV if their accounts are appropriately configured.
“(You can check the status of your account in our Security Checkup). Using their mobile device to sign in gives people a safer and more secure authentication experience than passwords alone.”
People with a Google Account may soon need to log in in two stagesCredit: Alamy
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has previously predicted that passwords will be obsolete one day and stronger security will be needed.
You still technically need a password to use multi-step authentication on Google but that’s only step number one.
Once you’ve entered a password, you’ll then be sent a one time code to your smartphone.
You’ll then have to enter to gain access to a Google Account.
This make things more difficult for hackers because they’d need to guess your password and somehow have access to your phone to try and steal your account.
Google isn’t trying to make the login process more long winded though and wants things to be as seamless as possible.
Risher added: “We are also building advanced security technologies into devices to make this multi-factor authentication seamless and even more secure than a password.
“For example, we’ve built our security keys directly into Android devices, and launched our Google Smart Lock app for iOS, so now people can use their phones as their secondary form of authentication.”
How to stay safe from hackers
- Protect your devices and networks by keeping them up to date: use the latest supported versions, use anti-virus and scan regularly to guard against known malware threats.
- Use multi-factor authentication to reduce the impact of password compromises.
- Tell staff how to report suspected phishing emails, and ensure they feel confident to do so, investigate their reports promptly and thoroughly.
- Set up a security monitoring capability so you are collecting the data that will be needed to analyse network intrusions
- Prevent and detect lateral movement in your organisation’s networks.
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Do you find two step logins easy to use? Let us know in the comments…
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