2-Step Verification, or 2SV for short, is a method of securing your Google account by requiring you to access a second step, or device in order to successfully log in. This is why many of you reading this probably already have to type in a code that comes to you via text or you have to tap to acknowledge on your phone that you’re signing into another device. For those unfamiliar, the idea is that a secondary method ensures that you have physical access to your phone so that there’s no doubt that you’re the one attempting to log in.
By the end of 2021, Google is planning to auto-enroll 150 million Google Accounts into 2SV to put you in a more defensive position against hackers and social engineers. Chrome already suggests strong passwords for you, and even has a built-in Password Safety Check tool that will show you which of your passwords have been compromised. Not only that but if you’re using the same password for multiple websites, Google will smack you on the hand and ask you to diversify them.
We know that many, many people take account security less seriously – not out of spite, or intentionally, but simply because we’ve been raised with bad habits (especially those of us who grew up in the 90s). Add to that the fact that passwords are a straight pain in the rear, and you’ve got a recipe for millions of weak accounts that the company now has to contend with. On your behalf, it’s trying to intervene in order to make the internet a safer place.
In addition to these 150 million accounts, Google will also require 2 million Youtube creators to enable 2-step verification in order to protect their videos on the platform. Why these numbers, specifically? That’s because these people have proper backup mechanisms in place at this time and it makes a transition to 2SV seamless. Going forward, Google will have to face the challenge of encouraging the users without backups in place to do so. Only then can they transition them as well.
If you’d like to secure your account right now, you should take a Security Checkup. In fact, you should do this often! To learn more about Google’s efforts to protect over 10,000 high-risk users this year by providing free security keys to them and the other sign-in enhancements they’re working on, visit the Safety Center. Now it’s time to hear from you! Are you already using 2SV, or do you feel it’s an inconvenience?