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Security & privacy

Google is making a big security change to protect you from hackers

Securing personal information and data is crucial to your digital safety. Most apps and services make use of robust password systems. The more complex it is, the better for your account.

But passwords are just one level of security and aren’t the end all be all. You need more layers of security to stay truly protected. Tap or click here for ways to create stronger passwords.

That’s why Google is making a big change to increase security for all of its users. Keep reading for details and why this is an excellent idea.

Here’s the backstory

Until recently, Google gave users a choice to opt-in for its two-factor authentication (2FA) security protocol. Even though it protects your Google account from hackers, many people didn’t make use of it.

Google has now mandated the implementation of 2FA for all users. “Soon we’ll start automatically enrolling users in 2SV if their accounts are appropriately configured,” explained Mark Risher, Google director of user security. Google refers to 2FA as 2SV, two-step verification.

Google is aware that the current standard of 2FA can be a laborious process. It’s aiming to speed things up with forced implementation. “We are also building advanced security technologies into devices to make this multi-factor authentication seamless and even more secure than a password,” Risher added.

Added security, if you want it

Once users with the correctly configured accounts have been verified, the company will be moving on to those who haven’t. You would still have a choice, though, if you want to disable 2SV. While Google will automatically turn on 2SV, you can opt out after you have verified yourself. Naturally, we don’t recommend opting out.

The company revealed its plans on World Password Day and gave an update to its new Password Import feature. If you use Google’s Password Manager, you can now upload and store up to 1,000 passwords for free.

“One day, we hope stolen passwords will be a thing of the past, because passwords will be a thing of the past,” Google said in a blog post.

You can check the status of your account in the Security Checkup section. The utility will let you know if passwords have been exposed through a leak. It can tell you how many weak passwords are stored in your account, as well as other security risks.

Keep reading

Google Messages is getting a big makeover – on some phones

Use Gmail, Google Drive or Google Photos? Make this change or you’ll lose your files

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