If you’re a Gmail and/or Google account holder, your account is set for a major change.
Google announced earlier this year that it would be forcing millions of account holders to start using 2-Step Verification (aka 2FA), a more secure way of logging in.
- Please read: What Is 2FA & Why You Need It
Google will soon require account holders to use a new 2-step Verification system with some accounts being updated as early as November 9. Two-factor authentication — which Google calls “two-step verification” — requires you to use something in addition to your password to log in to an account. Usually, this “something” is a verification code or confirmation prompt from a smartphone. A username and password will no longer be sufficient.
There’s no official word from Google about when all users will be required to switch over to 2-Step Verification with the company simply saying that individual users will be informed seven days before the change is enforced. Google did confirm last month, however, that it wants more users to have this additional security by the end of 2021:
By the end of 2021, we plan to auto-enroll an additional 150 million Google users in 2SV ~ source
For the time being, 2SV can be turned off via account settings. However, Google has confirmed that this will not remain an option with the timeline for enforcement stated only as “soon“.
It’s important to note that, under normal circumstances, 2SV will only kick in when there is some doubt over the identity of the person signing in to an account — e.g. when signing in from an unrecognized device and/or browser :
You won’t need to sign in more often than you do now. You’ll only sign in when using a new device, or when Google needs to make sure it’s really you ~ source
While I appreciate and understand that 2FA/2SV can be inconvenient for some it does, nonetheless, seriously strengthen account security and I, for one, see this as a positive move by Google.