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Google rolls out a robust new way to secure your account

With the prevalence of hacking, ordinary login methods just aren’t going to cut it anymore. The username/password dynamic of the past 20 years is slowly crumbling, thanks to the efforts of cybercriminals and their troves of stolen login credentials.

So what is an ordinary internet user to do? There are several ways to secure your accounts and devices beyond usernames passwords — biometrics and two-factor authentication being popular options. Tap or click to learn how to set up two-factor authentication for your internet accounts.

Of course, there are also options like Google Smart Lock, which adds an additional layer of protection to the already secure 2FA experience. With this app, you’ll use your device like a physical key to get into your Google account — meaning hackers won’t stand a chance. Oh, and did we mention it works for iPhones?

Google updates Google Smart Lock so your phone can become a ‘physical key’

© Google LLC | Via iOS App Store

Google recently updated its acclaimed Smart Lock app for iPhone to allow users to harness their actual device for two-factor logins. Previously, you needed to order a small, handheld “Bluetooth key” device from Google’s Titan system, which would allow you access to your account at the press of a button.

But with the new update, this is no longer a requirement. Although the security key can be useful, people might not always have them on hand, compared to their phones. Now, when you log in, you only need to push a button from inside the app. Plus, it’ll save users $25. That’s a solid dinner, right there.

Is Smart Lock worth my time?

The smart lock system is a major upgrade from traditional 2FA, which relies on a text message code to confirm your identity.

Although using 2FA is better than no additional security at all, it can fall victim to the heinous crime of SIM-swapping, where fraudsters pretend to be you, go to your carrier and get your number transferred to their phone. This makes the confirmation text go to them instead of you.

Tap or click here to learn more about the threat of SIM-swapping.

But with Smart Lock, the confirmation comes from the device, not your number. That’s why Bluetooth is used, since it sends a digital signal to your computer or device from the Smart Lock app. This prevents any funny business from happening during your login process.

How do I get my hands on Smart Lock?

Smart Lock is available as a free download from the iOS App store. Your Google account login email address and password will be required to complete setup.

And for you Android owners out there, don’t worry. You already have Smart Lock on your phones! What’s more, it goes even further than it does on iPhone, and gives you flexibility on where and how your phone can physically unlock. Tap or click here to learn more, and discover other crucial security features on Android.

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