Enabling 2-step verification led to a 50% decrease in Google accounts being compromised

In 2021, Google emphasized that it wants to build a world without passwords. Many tech companies, including Microsoft, have been encouraging users to ditch passwords due to the security risk they pose if they are weak or are shared across multiple websites. Some ways to do this is via authenticator apps and multi-factor verification, such as Google's 2-step verification (2SV), which has apparently been very successful in the domain of good cybersecurity practices.

A hand picking a password from a collection of digits on the screen using tweezers
Image via Trend Micro

On Safer Internet Day today, Google has proudly announced that its 2SV auto-enrollment initiative resulted in 150 million Google accounts being more secure. The company has been auto-enrolling correctly configured accounts into 2SV verification since May 2021. Two million YouTube content creators were also required to configure 2SV. According to the firm, this has resulted in a massive 50% decrease in accounts being compromised compared to those who don't enable 2SV at all.

While Google is quite happy with the initial results, it has emphasized that its next focus is on making the 2SV process more simpler and streamlined. This includes improving the existing integration of security keys in phones and Google's Smart Lock app for iPhones.

Google has also shared some tips to keep your account more secure. These include taking a Security Checkup, enabling 2SV, and utilizing Google's Password Manager, which is available on multiple platforms. In 2022 and beyond, the company will be working on auto-enrolling even more accounts into 2SV and making the backend technologies seamless.

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