Google is automatically going to push users towards two-factor authentication (2FA). This reduces the chance that your account will be hacked, but not everyone uses the function.
With two-factor authentication, you also need an extra unique code or confirmation to log in in addition to your password.
2FA means that in addition to your password, there is a second confirmation of your identity. This can be done, for example, by sending a text message or a notification on your phone to prevent a hacker from logging in with just your password. Usually, you enter such confirmation when you log in on a new device, after a long period of inactivity or from an unusual location.
Google now says it will automatically enable two-step verification for users who are ‘technically ready’, it says in a blog post. At the same time, users who already do so are asked to confirm again.
That being technically ready is not really clarified in Google’s blog post. But to Motherboard, the company clarifies that these are users who already use their account on multiple devices and have a recovery method not simply to be excluded from their account. The intention is to expand this to more users gradually. If you do not want that, you can switch off 2FA again.
Google isn’t the first to emphasize the importance of 2FA. In general, tech companies and security experts have been recommending for years to provide an extra login confirmation, especially for accounts with sensitive information.
For example, if a hacker can retrieve the password of your mailbox, they can also obtain other accounts by, for example, requesting a new password via that hacked mailbox.