Computer Technology

Setting Up Two-Factor Authentication On Your Phone for Google

Having extra security on your accounts and devices is always a very good idea.

These days, having just a password (or a pin for your phone) is not enough when it comes to all the ways in which hackers could break into a device, or an account.

If you ask any IT Support Company or professional, they will tell you that have two-factor authentication is an easy way to provide a much higher level of security for accounts, because it incorporates a layer of physical security to them.

You can setup two-factor authentication for Google that uses your mobile phone – whether it’s an Android phone or an iPhone. There are a few different authentication apps that are available on both platforms – such as Google’s Authenticator, and even third-party apps like Authy – but these apps use a more long-winded method to authenticate, and there is a much easier way to do it.

Read more: How to Setup a Secure Network at Home

Use Your Phone at Login

Setting up your phone for signing into Google is relatively straightforward. The computer that you are using needs to be running the most currently version of Windows 10 (or Windows 11), macOS, or Chrome OS installed. For the phone you are using, ensure that it is running Android 7 or later, or a current version of iOS if it is an iPhone.

The following instructions are for Android phones specifically:

  1. Ensure that your Android phone has a Google account associated with it.
  2. If not, go to Settings > Passwords & accounts. Select Add account > Google.
  3. Log into your Google Account to connect it to your phone.

For iPhones, you will need to have one of the following apps installed: Smart Lock, Gmail app, or Google app. Having any of these apps installed will enable Google prompts on that device.

Once your phone has been setup to enable 2FA, you need to setup mobile authentication on your Google account. To do this, you will need to access your account via a desktop web browser.

  1. Open Google Chome on your PC.
  2. Go to myaccount.google.com/security.
  3. Scroll down and select Use your phone to sign in.
  4. Enter your account password.

Once you are in the Use your phone to sign in section, you will be asked to complete 3 important steps. First, you will be asked to select your phone. If you have an iPhone, you will need to have Touch ID (or Face ID for newer models) setup. If you have an Android smartphone, you will need to have a screen lock setup. Finally, you will need to add a recovery phone number – this needs to be different from the phone you will be using for 2FA.

Once you have satisfied these 3 steps, you will be run through a system test. It will then invite you to turn on phone sign-in permanently.

Use Your Phone as a Security Key

Another layer of security that is worth setting up is setting up your phone as a secondary security key. In order to do this, you will need to setup 2-step verification on your Google account:

  1. Go to myaccount.google.com/security.
  2. Scroll down and select 2-step verification.
  3. Click Get start and enter your password.
  4. Select your Phone and click Continue.
  5. Add a backup phone number (in case you lose your phone), and select whether to receive codes via text or phone call.
  6. Google will confirm that the 2-step verification works, and ask to turn it on permanently.
  7. You will then return to the 2-step verification main screen. Scroll down to Available second steps.
  8. Choose Security Key.
  9. Select Add Security Key – you can either use your Phone, or a Physical key (USB or NFC). Choose your phone.
  10. You will then be told to keep Bluetooth on, and you will only be able to sign in wit supported browsers (Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge).

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