In a step to improve account security, Google has updated its iOS app so that iPhones can be used as security keys for two-factor authentication. The search giant has also refreshed the app’s UI design with the update.
As soon as you enter the password for any Google service on a device, you get a push notification on your iPhone which you can then check and approve. The registered phone needs to be within the vicinity of your computer (secure communication via Bluetooth), which is more secure than just using a login prompt.
Two-factor is not a foolproof method to duck from hacking attempts, but it is better than not having two-factor authentication at all. It is also better than using two-factor authentication codes received on your SIM card, especially in the wake of recent SIM swap attacks.
Google has taken a huge step towards making it easier for iPhone users to log in to Google services securely using two-factor authentication keys. However, the company is not using iPhones’ built-in user authentication features such as Face ID or Touch ID. This means that a hacker can log in to your account if your iPhone is already unlocked.
We expect the internet search giant to add Face ID or Touch ID features into its recently updated Smart Lock app to make it even more secure.