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Google’s Two-Factor Authentication Proves Successful: Hacks Reduced By 50%

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Google has made it difficult for hackers to breach into an account with its 2-step authentication, and plans to further tighten security with new features.

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), or Two-Step Verification (2SV) in the terms of Google, is a feature that requires people to confirm login from two devices, rather than just putting in a password on one. This rather simple sounding feature has saved millions of people’s accounts from getting hacked. Earlier, one would have to go into their account settings to turn this feature on. But last year in 2021 Google enabled this feature by default, prompting people on its own to set it up. This enrolled over 150 million users who benefit from this and have the chance of their account being hacked reduced. Google officially reported that account hacks have been reduced by 50% since they implemented this.

Why does it work?

Passwords can be stolen easily, especially if they are weak like someone’s name or birthday, even combinations of such things. 2SV makes sure that even if the password is compromised, hackers still don’t get into your account by having you verify that login from a different platform like the application on your phone or an sms code. While we have a lot of password managers nowadays to ensure our passwords are strong, an extra layer of protection is always more reliable.


You should be using Two-Factor Authentication if you aren’t already.

As of 2018, Google revealed that 90% of its users were not availing of the benefits of 2SV, which is why they made it default in 2021. However, it is still possible to skip the Google prompt which people do out of procrastination or being wary of putting their mobile numbers on the internet. Many websites have implemented two-factor authentication, but it’s mostly optional and people haven’t started using it in high numbers. Only 2.3% of active users on Twitter had 2FA in 2020 and on Facebook only about 4% had it activated in 2021. It is important to understand that doing so increases the account security drastically, preventing hackers from getting our important information and data that can be found in our e-mails like bank details or personal pictures.

New Updates to Protect Users

Google does not intend to stop at two-step verification to protect its users. On this Safer Internet Day, they announced the new measures that will be implemented.

  • Safer Browsing for Everyone

Google is going to make browsing safer with account-wide enhanced protection on the web. Users will be able to turn on the setting to use this protection against threats on the internet in their Google Account settings from next month.

  • Campaign Security Project for High-Risk Users

Google aims to protect its high-risk users including US politicians and groups like LGBTQ Victory Institute, University of San Francisco, Women’s Public Leadership Network, American Ideas and a lot more by providing them with better tools to stay safe on the internet. Google advises these high-risk users to take advantage of their Advanced Protection Program, which would constantly monitor new threats and provide their accounts with the strongest security options.


Moving Away from Passwords

With Google constantly pushing for two-step verification to secure its accounts and taking measures to do so, more users will be secured in the coming future. Companies like Microsoft and Apple are now trying to move away from passwords entirely, with features like facial recognition to unlock a device or app rather than a key or password as these biometric identifications are a lot safer and cannot simply be guessed or generated. Google as well plans to have a future without passwords as it considers them a threat to online security, simply because of how easy they are to crack. Until then, Google promises to protect the passwords of its accounts with the best of its tools and developments.

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