It’s important to keep your online life secure. Many online accounts now include a two-factor authorization method for logging in to your account. This requires the user to have access to two different security elements. The combination of “something you know,” your password, and “something you have” gets you into your account. If you have to sign in to an account using a password and a code that is sent to your phone, you are using two-factor authorization.
Last year, Google unveiled the Titan Security Key to use as part of the authorization process. This key is a physical device that you need to plug in or place near the system on which you are trying to access your Google account. The device was well-received and used by businesses and workgroups, but it didn’t take off with consumers because of the $50 price tag.
Now Google has announced that you will be able to use your smartphone as a replacement for the Titan Security Key in its new 2-Step Verification system (2SV). Any Android phone running Nougat or later has this capacity.
The following guide shows how to set up Google’s 2-Step Verification and use your Android smartphone as a security key for your Google account.
Add Your Google Account
You must make sure that you have the same Google account on both your computer and your phone. If it’s not on the phone, you’ll need to add it.
1. Open the Google app from the apps menu.
2. Tap your profile picture in the upper-right corner.
3. If the profile you want to link is listed, click on it. If not, tap “Add another account.”
4. You’ll need to identify yourself using your fingerprint or scan.
5. Add the email address you want to add and follow the steps to finish the setup.
Get 2-Step Verification
Now that you have your computer set up and your phone ready, you have to enroll in 2-Step Verification.
1. Click on this link on your computer: Enroll in Two-Step Verification for Your Google Account
2. Click the “Get started” button.
3. Choose the account you want to use and enter your login information.
4. When you do, check your phone for the notification and tap Yes.
5. Choose a backup phone number in case your phone isn’t available for some reason.
6. If you don’t have another number to use, click on the “Use another backup option” link at the bottom of the page.
7. Print or save the codes you see.
8. Click next and turn on your 2-Step Verification.
Unlock Your Account
Now it’s time to test the system. Sign out of your Google account using the Chrome browser on your computer.
1. Click the profile picture in the top-right corner of the browser.
2. You were probably already signed out when you set up the 2-Step Verification, so sign in again with your login credentials.
3. You will see a new message instructing you to check your phone.
4. On your phone, tap the Yes button, and you are all signed in!
Using Google’s 2-Step Verification process will give you access to any Google service like the Play Store or YouTube. Google will probably expand all these capabilities in the future as they try to move to a more secure method of accessing your online information.