Observing the ‘Safer Internet Day’ which was held this week, Google has announced an expansion of its two-step verification (2SV) process for log-ins to improve account security. The initiative, according to the company, has already seen a 50 percent reduction in account breaches for 150 million Gmail and 2 million YouTube creator accounts.
The 2SV introduces the use of mobile phones to confirm a user’s identity every time one accesses their Google Account from a different device. “We don’t just plug security holes,” says Dawn Dimowo, Government Affairs & Public Policy Manager, Nigeria. “We work to eliminate entire classes of threats for people who depend on our services.”
“Today alone, billions of people around the world will use our products to help with things big and small from conducting e-payment transactions or teaching an online class full of students. It is our responsibility to keep users’ personal information safe and secure,” he added.
Google, which has a mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful, recommends running frequent Security Check-Ups to ensure that accounts are prepared for recovery by adding a phone number and a backup email.
Google provides tools like Security Checkup, which provides users with practical tips on how to increase the security of their Google Account. In 2021, Google accelerated its effort to eliminate password threats by starting to auto-enroll users in 2SV, providing people with an additional layer of security when cybercriminals attempt to hack into their accounts. Through the initiative, more than 1.5 billion security checks were done.
“This decrease speaks volumes to how having a second form of verification can be effective in protecting your data and personal information. And while we are proud of these initial results and happy with the response we have received from our users and the community, we are excited about other ongoing behind-the-scenes work intended to make our users even safer,” Dimowo concluded.
Additionally, Google recommends using Google Password Manager, which is built directly into Chrome, Android, and the Google App, to create safe passwords for all online accounts, including shopping, banking, and e-learning site.
The announcement made in Lagos aligns with this year’s global Safer Internet Day theme, “Together for a better Internet”. Google says it is actively working on new technologies that will provide a secure, seamless sign-in experience and eliminate reliance on passwords that have turned out to be a major cause for data breaches and phishing attempts. Users often find passwords hard to remember and have to update them regularly.