Quick Post: 22/06/2016 – Sweet 2FA with Google Prompt

Securing those multitude of accounts you have sprawled across the web has never been easy.  Some sites only need a standard email address and password combination, which for many is an easy target for hackers if you’re using the same details everywhere (please don’t do it!).

Google has for a while now has been using 2 factor authentication, which is easily switched on and configured.  Generally it was used when accessing a Google service, by entering a 6 digit number which was sent to your phone (or using the Authenticator app).  Whilst not ideal, it gave users (who enabled it) a level of confidence regarding their accounts, but still required you typing in those numbers.

But changes are coming, and in the last 24 hours, comes the announcement the imminent rollout of Google Prompt, a new way to ensure it’s actually you who is logging into your Google account.  Put simply, your phone will prompt you to approve a login with a simple Yes or No.

How does it work?

Step 1

Login to Google as you normally do, and head to the “Sign-in and Security” section of “My Account”.  Here, scroll down to the “Set up alternative second step” and under “Google prompt” click “Add Phone”

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Step 2

Select “Get Started”

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Step 3

Select the phone you want to use – generally this is going to be the phone you carry with you normally at all times.  The phone will then be checked to see if you’re using screen lock.  If you’re not, it could be possible for someone to swipe your phone and access your account (by default, you should always be using a screen lock!).

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Step 4

Test it out!

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On your (locked) your phone and you should see a prompt like this:

Google 2FA prompt on Android lock screen

Unlock your phone…

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Hit the “Yes” button (as long as it’s you who is trying to access your account!)

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Step 5

You’ll now see “Google prompt” assigned as the Default for accessing Google services.

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More Info

  • Google prompt will become the default and so you can’t use security keys together
  • You’ll of course need to be connected to the Internet to use the service
  • Google Play Services must be up to date – check the Android Play Store
  • For Apple users, ensure you have the Google Search app installed
  • You’ll find the announcement here

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