Two-factor authentication (2FA) helps to secure your online accounts by adding a second step to the login process. However, Google admits that hackers can still use advanced steps like fake login pages to bypass that security method.
So as a way to further beef up your account’s security, Google has introduced a new way to let you turn your Android device into a physical security key. Starting today, you can use any Android phone running Android 7.0 or later as a 2FA security key for your Google Account.
The method works like Google Prompt, which relies on an internet-based connection between an Android phone and a Google service. But the main difference with the new security feature is that it uses a Bluetooth connection to facilitate a secure login, which means your phone needs to be in proximity to your PC.
When you enable this feature, your phone will prompt you to verify that it’s you signing in when you attempt to log in to your Google account. This means you don’t have to purchase a physical key to strengthen their account protection. With this method, a remote hacker can’t use phishing to trick you into handing over your online credentials since the credentials are sent using Bluetooth offline.
How to get started
To activate your phone’s built-in security key, all you need is an Android 7.0+ phone and a Bluetooth-enabled Chrome OS, macOS X or Windows 10 computer with a Chrome browser. Here’s how to do it:
- Add your Google Account to your Android phone.
- Make sure you are enrolled in 2SV.
- On your computer, visit the 2SV settings and click “Add security key”.
- Choose your Android phone from the list of available devices and you are done.
While this new feature isn’t the absolute strongest way to secure your account, this is a great way for most folks to easily beef up the security on their Google account.