Google to make phone notifications the default for two-factor sign-ins

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Google is making some changes when it comes to its security measures for account sign-ins. To that end the company will be using phone notifications instead of SMSes for its two-factor verification method, with the only exception being those users who already have a security key system in place.

“This means that if you sign in to your Google account and are also signed in on a smartphone, you will be asked to follow phone prompts to verify the login attempt. This will help increase account security while making it easier to sign in,” a Google blog post explained.

The changes are said to take place from 7th July next month, with Google also noting that users who have a corporate or institutional account may need to wait as many as 15 days before the change displays on their device.

Google adds too that users can still use the SMS method if they wish, but they’ll need to make that change in settings with phone notifications being the go-to method moving forward.

As for why Google is making this change, the company explains that notifications are in general more secure than making use of phone numbers for voice or text on two-factor verifications, with SIM jacking one of the ways in which criminals exploit the system.

“By making prompts the primary method for more users, we hope to help them take advantage of the additional security without having to manually change settings – though they can still use other methods of 2-Step Verification if they prefer,” Google adds.

From 7th July onwards then, after you enter your password to sign-in to your Google account, you’ll be sent a “Trying to sign-in?” prompt to every eligible mobile device where you’re signed in.

This prompt will tell you when and where your password was entered, and will then ask you to confirm or block the sign-in attempt. Google says you’ll also stop receiving prompts on a phone if you sign out of that phone.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Editor of Hypertext. Covers smartphones, IoT, 5G, cloud computing and a few things in between. Also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games when not taking the hatchet to stories.