Google to turn on 2FA by default for 150 million users, 2 million YouTubers

Cyber Security

Two-factor authentication is a simple way to greatly enhance the security of your account

Google has announced that by the end of 2021 it plans to automatically enroll 150 million users into two-step verification (2SV), a security measure also commonly known as two-factor authentication (2FA).

“For years, Google has been at the forefront of innovation in two-step verification (2SV), one of the most reliable ways to prevent unauthorized access to accounts and networks. 2SV is strongest when it combines both “something you know” (like a password) and “something you have” (like your phone or a security key),” the tech titan announced in a blog marking Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

In order to make 2SV as user-friendly as possible, Google allows user devices to double as security keys. It rolled out the feature for Android devices in 2019 before making it also available for iOS users with an update of the Google Smart Lock app in 2020.

In addition, starting from November 1st two million YouTube creators will need to have 2SV turned on in order to access Studio, a move announced on the TeamYouTube Twitter account recently. Let’s recall that YouTube accounts are often hijacked by cybercriminals who use them to peddle all kinds of scams, including fake cryptocurrency giveaways.

The automatic enrollment is limited to accounts that have proper backup mechanisms enabled. Users can check this by using Google’s Security Checkup tool.

Additionally, the company also announced that it has teamed up with various organizations to supply more than 10,000 high-risk users with complimentary security tokens. Google also highlighted its other offerings, such as the password manager and security checkup tools, that are also aimed at keeping users safe from phishing scams and other attacks that attempt to steal their login information.

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