Android phones can now be used as physical security keys for Two-Factor Authentication to protect against credential theft

By Digit NewsDesk | Updated Apr 12 2019
Android phones can now be used as physical security keys for Two-Factor Authentication to protect against credential theft
HIGHLIGHTS

Phones running Android 7 and above can now be used as Physical Security Keys

Google has enabled the feature in beta as of now

You can follow the steps stated below to turn your Android phone into a physical key for Two-Factor Authentication

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A while ago, Google introduced the Titan Security Key, a physical key which Google’s Cloud customers can use to login and complete two-factor authentication, instead of the usual SMS, OTP or push notification based authentication methods. The FIDO-based physical key makes sure that hackers trying to steal credential information to illegally log into a Google account cannot do so as users are required to tap their key during suspicious or unrecognized sign-in attempts.

To make things even more secure for millions of Android users, Google has now made all Android 7 and above smartphones physical keys to log into Google accounts. Currently in Beta, the feature will allow all Android users to use their phones for two-factor authentication during sign-up into all Google accounts.

Here’s how you can use your Android device as a physical security key

Requirements

To use the built-in security key on your Android phone, Google has detailed a number of prerequisites which are as follows:

  1. You need an Android phone running Android 7.0 or up.

  2. You also need a computed that has Bluetooth, latest version of the Chrome browser, the latest version of a compatible operating system like Chrome OS, Mac OS, or Windows

How to Add the security key to your Google Account

  1. Users will first need to turn on 2-Step verification in their Google accounts and add a verification method like Google Prompts. You can get a prompt for 2-Step Verification on Android phones with updated Google Play services

  2. On your Android phone, go to myaccount.google.com/security.

  3. Under "Signing in to Google," select 2-Step Verification. You might need to sign in.

  4. Scroll down to "Set up an alternative second step."

  5. Select Add Security Key and choose your Android phone from the list. simply turn it on.

How to Use your Android phone as a security key

  1. Make sure your computer’s Bluetooth is turned on.

  2. Sign in to your Google Account with your username and password.

  3. Check your Android phone for a notification.

  4. On your Android phone, double-tap the "Are you trying to sign in?" notification.

  5. Follow the instructions to confirm it’s you signing in.

Google also recommends using a backup security key to your account and keeping it in a safe place just in case you lose your phone.

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