Enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) on a Google Account requires someone who is proactive when it comes to account security. Users need to log in, go through settings, and check the correct boxes. Among the billions of Google Accounts available, the adoption of 2FA is probably not that high and Google has had enough.
Yesterday, on “World Password Day”, Google announced a very bold initiative for account security. “Soon,” the company says, it will begin to “automatically enroll” users in 2FA, provided their accounts are set up correctly. Google doesn’t go into great detail on what “properly configured” means, but it sounds like anyone can have 2FA activated will have 2FA enabled soon. Google’s preferred 2FA method is “Google prompt,” a notification that Google sends to your phone when you try to sign in. Rather than forcing you to enter a clunky code, the Google prompt offers a simple “yes / no” verification. , making 2FA easier than ever.
On Android, Google Prompt is a full screen pop-up built into every device as part of Google Play services, so it’s easy. On iOS, Google prompt requests for your account can be received by the Google Search app, the Gmail app, or the dedicated Google Smart Lock app. It looks like anyone who meets these requirements will soon be enrolled in 2FA.
Most users stick to the default settings, and soon the default setting for 2FA will be auto-enrollment. Non-tech savvy users are the most likely not to have 2FA enabled on their accounts, so hopefully they can still figure out how to log in when the process suddenly changes. Google could also potentially exclude someone from an account if the company automatically enrolls a user in 2FA and the user’s device configuration cannot support it. Hopefully the first attempt includes some sort of leeway or consent.