Android phones can now serve as two - stage verification keys based on Bluetooth

Long gone are the days when it was enough to secure your account with a strong password. Attackers now find it easier (and harder at the same time) than ever to access your private data such as email addresses, passwords, etc. The only way forward is to use measures such as two-step verification that require the use of 2SV security keys and physical security keys such as the Titan Security Key from Google. G Suite users have been able to use Bluetooth third-party keys on their accounts a few days ago and today; Google is working on making every device running Android Nougat 7.0 2SC physical security key. 

Your phone will work as a traditional proximity-based token and must be close to the device you are signing in. This proximity requirement, as well as the use of FIDO and WebAuthn authentication protocols to double-check the website's authenticity, makes phishing much more difficult. The new feature works on most services from Google like Gmail, G Suite, Google Cloud. It is also expected that other websites will join at a later stage. The feature is in beta at the moment. You'll need an Android 7.0 + device, a Bluetooth-enabled Chrome OS, macOS X, or a Chrome Browser-enabled Windows 10 computer to start. It's important that your phone's Google account is the same as the one you're trying to log in. The next step is to register your phone as a security key using this link. Then go to your computer's 2SV settings and click the "Add Security Key" button and select your Android device from the list of devices available. If you choose to sign in again, you'd need Bluetooth enabled on both the phone and the computer. Google will prompt you to bring out the phone you've chosen as your security key the next time you sign in to your Google account with Chrome on a computer you normally don't use. Google also recommends creating a security key to ensure that even if you lose your device, you still have access to your account.

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