Back in May, Google said it would start automatically enabling two-factor authentication on eligible accounts. As part of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Google today provided an update on its account 2SV efforts.

Update 11/3: This process is getting underway for the first wave of accounts that are already configured for this security measure (i.e. they are signed into Google on their phone). Google is telling users via email that “2-Step Verification will be turned on automatically on November 9.” 

The company explains that this will make their Gmail “much more secure.” After entering a username and password, you confirm the sign-in attempt on a phone that’s confirmed to be in your position. On-screen instructions on that mobile device guide you on how to proceed. 

Signing in with both a password and a second step on your phone protects against password-stealing scams. Even if someone gets your password online, they won’t also have your phone.

More information is available on this support document. Google is not simultaneously rolling out this change to all your accounts.


Original 10/5: The company’s latest blog post did not mention how many accounts have already been automatically configured to require that users confirm they are the ones signing in, or the number of people that have the measure already enabled. 

Right now we are auto-enrolling Google accounts that have the proper backup mechanisms in place to make a seamless transition to 2SV. To make sure your account has the right settings in place, take our quick Security Checkup

However, by year’s end, Google will “auto-enroll an additional 150 million Google users in 2SV.” This ranges from tapping yes on your phone or inserting a physical security key into the device you’re using to log-in. Google also says that it has partnered with organizations to provide over 10,000 security keys to high-risk users this year. 

We also recognize that today’s 2SV options aren’t suitable for everyone, so we are working on technologies that provide a convenient, secure authentication experience and reduce the reliance on passwords in the long-term.

Until then, Google says Chrome for iOS will soon be able to generate (and save) a secure password in any iOS app following the browser’s current ability to autofill stored credentials. On Android, the “Google app menu” will let you soon “access all of the passwords you’ve saved in Google Password Manager.”

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