Two Factor Authentication done right is more secure than one-factor authentication. Google is improving Two Factor Authentication so everyone can use Google prompts to sign-in securely and better protect their accounts.
If you use phones that currently don’t get Google sign-in prompts, they’ll be able to get prompts after July 7, 2020. Going forward, any eligible phone you add to your account will also get prompts.
To get prompts on an additional phone:
- On your Android phone or tablet, open your device’s Settings app Google. Manage your Google Account.
- At the top, tap Security.
- Under Signing into Google, Two Factor Authentication. You might need to sign in.
- Under Google prompt, tap Add phone. …
- Follow the steps on the screen.
In most cases, other Two Factor Authentication options will continue to work as backup second steps.
After you enter your password, Google sends a secure push notification to every eligible phone where you’re signed in. This prompt tells you when and where your password was entered, so you can decide whether to approve or block the attempt to sign in.
How Google prompts protect your account
Actually, the Google Prompt is a lot more secure than the authenticator app, because prompts can’t be punished.
Two-factor authentication is increasingly becoming a requirement to protect online accounts from phishing attacks. With methods ranging from SMS to prompts, one of the more secure forms involves Security Keys, with Google highlighting the success of rolling out these devices. These affordable, physical devices replaced passwords and one-time codes at Google. Connecting to computers via USB-A or USB-C, Security Keys feature a button that users are asked to tap when signing in.
Two-factor (2FA) comes in a variety of methods with Google defaulting to the “Google Prompt” on its services. When users log into an app or service, a confirmation prompt, with details like computer and location, is sent to trusted mobile devices. On Android, these alerts are built into Google Play services, while on iOS these 2-step verification prompts open in the Google app or Gmail.
This new default replaces one-time codes sent via SMS given how SIM spoofing is a common occurrence. Meanwhile, another method involves authenticator apps that generate one-time codes every 30 seconds.
Earlier this year, Google also rolled out an Advanced Protection program that leverages Security Keys to lock down Google accounts. Aimed at journalists, business leaders, and political campaigns, the program also involves limiting what apps can access data, restricting sharing, and blocking fraudulent account access.
YubiKey offers a family of Security Keys ranging from standard (YubiKey 4) to more compact designs that sit flush with USB-A ports. There are also USB-C variants and ones that feature NFC for mobile devices.
To stop getting prompts on a particular phone, sign out of that phone. Learn more about Google prompts.
You can always review your security settings in your Google Account.