Google now allows you to use Android smartphone as 2FA physical security key

Two-factor authentication is a vital component when it comes to security. Most of the two-factor authentication (2FA) system usually relies on text messages or authenticator apps. However, Google has now introduced a new way that uses an Android phone as a physical key.

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Google has announced that any Android smartphone running version 7 or higher can be used as a physical security key for two-factor authentication. This gives you a secure way to log-into Google apps and other 2FA methods that Google offers.

So, instead of buying a dongle as a physical device to verify login, you can now use your smartphone for the same. For this, you’ll have to connect your phone through Bluetooth to a Chrome browser to verify logins. It works on Gmail, G Suite, Google Cloud, and any other Google account service, and uses the FIDO authentication standard.

It is similar to Google Prompt but now it requires your phone to be physically near the computer. The company said that other websites might join in at a later stage, but it’s still in the process of certifying its authentication service.

How to activate an Android phone as a security key?

  • Make sure your phone runs Android version 7 or higher
  • Open Chrome browser on your computer
  • Sign-in to Google on your phone
  • Turn Bluetooth ‘On’ on your smartphone
  • Open myaccount.google.com/security and select “two-step verification”
  • Select the option to add a security key and choose your phone from the list of devices

As said, for now, the service is only available on Android phones, exclusively for logins to Google services. But the company says that since the new technology runs on the same protocols that a physical security key would, it’s only a matter of time before other companies implement this.