Google to soon mandate two-factor authentication for its services

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
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Google Security Update
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Global tech giant Google will begin automatically enrolling users into its two-step verification (2SV) process, also known as two-factor authentication.

The company already provides its users the option of enrolling in two-step verification, which prompts them on their mobile when logging in to confirm that they are the ones who are signing in to their account.

According to Google, this is an attempt to improve security since passwords are the single biggest threat to online safety.

Mr. Mark Risher, Director of Product Management, Identity and User Security at Google explains that people try to make their passwords long and complex to make them more difficult to crack. When people use the same password for different accounts, this may pose a security risk.

Mr. Risher stated that 66 percent of Americans confess to using the same password on different websites. To get around this, Google added a second form of verification in addition to the password. “If their accounts are appropriately configured” it will automatically enroll them in 2SV, or two-factor authentication, soon.

Google gives the option to enroll in 2SV, but it will soon make this feature mandatory for all users. The search giant has not stated when this move will take effect. Google recently released a new Password Import feature that allows users to upload up to 1,000 passwords for free at a time.

“Features like Password Import, Password Manager and Security Checkup combined with authentication products like Sign-in with Google reduce the spread of weak credentials,” Mr. Risher added.

Google recently revealed that all apps on the Google Play store would be required to disclose how they use users’ data to provide transparency. Developers would be required to include a detailed list of what user data their apps gather and how that data is treated.

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