Google sign in options are about to become a lot safer

Password Manager functionality is not limited to the Google Chrome web browser. Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox are two popular web browsers that also integrate this functionality
Password Manager functionality is now being integrated within the Google app on your phone. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Password Manager functionality is now being integrated within the Google app on your phone. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Published on Oct 06, 2021 04:59 PM IST
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ByVishal Mathur

It is not easy to remember passwords. After all, you have countless online accounts to sign in to, and neither should you be jotting these passwords down either. Password managers are one way of dealing with this. The second is two-step verification, also known as 2SV. Google says it is updating sign-in options available to make the process potentially safer and perhaps more convenient. The improvements lined up for the Password Manager include compromised password detection, expansion of Chrome’s capabilities, the 2SV process as well as the security keys built into Android phones, and the sign-in with Google option on third-party websites.

Updates for Password Manager on Google app and Apple iPhone

Password Manager functionality is now being integrated within the Google app on your phone. This is already accessible via the Chrome web browser and is also baked into the Android operating system. Google says that over one billion passwords are checked every day for potential leaks. Apple iPhone users will now be also able to select the Chrome web browser to auto fill saved passwords in other apps as well. The next line of updates will also allow Chrome to generate a strong password on iPhones. This will be similar to how auto fill with Google functionality works on Android phones, for all apps installed on the phone.

Password Manager functionality is not limited to the Google Chrome web browser. Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox are two popular web browsers that also integrate this functionality. Apple iPhone users also have the iCloud Keychain, which seamlessly syncs these passwords across all devices you have signed in with using iCloud. Android phone makers including Samsung also have their own password management and sync functionality integrated into Android.

Two-step verification will be mandatory soon

Google is making it mandatory for all accounts to have two-step verification active. This will come into force by the end of the year, and over 150 million Google accounts will be upgraded to make 2SV mandatory. Every time you use the Google service to log in on any new device or web browser, you will need to authenticate that it is you who is making the change, by confirming that on another Android phone or Apple iPhone, via any of the Google apps installed on those phones.

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“We also recognise that today’s 2SV options aren’t suitable for everyone, so we are working on technologies that provide a convenient, secure authentication experience and reduce the reliance on passwords in the long-term,” said Guemmy Kim, director, account security, and safety.

The road map for any new alternate methods still in development is not yet confirmed.

Sign in with Google controls

You must have seen the sign-in with Google option on many websites and apps. This is quite convenient. But we have often been asked does your Google account ID and password also get shared with the app or website we are signing in to? That is not the case. Google says that users are authenticated uniquely for each service they sign in to, using their credentials. That also means in case there is a data breach on any of the websites that you used your Google account to sign in to, your actual Google account data remains safe and unknown to the hackers. There are also security controls that allow you to see all websites and apps that are connected with your account, with the option to revoke access at any time.

Over the past few months, Google has made updates to the security check-up tool for all accounts. It provides a more concise overview of all devices with your Google account signed in, the activity from the past 28 days such as which apps or websites accessed your account for login purposes. The tool enables sign-in and verification methods including trusted mobile devices for 2SV, retaining or revoking third-party app access as well as access to smart devices including smart speakers.

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Monday, December 06, 2021