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Use an Android phone as a security key: How to do it (Update: Unlock iPhones) (Latest version)


Update, June 12, 2019 (17:55 ET): The "How To" article below gives you instructions on how to use an Android device as a 2FA computer on Chrome OS, Windows 10, or MacOS devices. But now you can use an Android device to unlock, of all things, An iPhone.

People are more likely to use this new feature to unlock other iOS devices, such as iPads, but if you both carry an iPhone and Android phone, you can use the latter to unlock the former.

The instructions below will also work for iOS devices, but with one small change: you need to Google Smart Lock iOS application instead of using a computer to visit a web address. Other than that, the steps and functionality are similar.


Original article, April 11, 2019 (04:00 ET): Two-factor verification is an important way to keep your online accounts safe. Google This solution has been offered for years, but it helps you to use your Android phone as a hardware security key of all kinds.

Currently, two-factor authentication users can receive web-based notifications, emails, or & # 39; calls on their phones, so they can quickly access or disable access to the account. But cyber criminals can (and have) put these warnings to account accounts.

Read: Android security overview 2018 -Huge boosts in device security updates

One alternative is to buy a hardware security key fob that uses Bluetooth, NFC or USB connection to verify account access. And Google's latest solution is a similar, hardware-based approach that is actually based on the prominent FIDO2 standard.

The Mountain View company lets you use any Android 7.0 Nougat phone or better, as these devices all have the necessary security key technology. Google also needs a ChromeOS / Mac / Windows 10 Bluetooth enabled computer, and a compatible browser (ie Chrome).

To enable functionality on your Google Account, you must:

  • Go to myaccount.google.com/security on your Android phone to enable two-step verification if you haven't already done so (Security> 2-step verification> Start).
  • Of the 2-step verification page, you have to roll down and choose Add security key.
  • You will then be presented with a list of compatible devices that belong to you. Select the desired phone from the list and tap add. Note that you must enable Bluetooth and location on your phone before using this feature.

To use the feature on your computer, Google says you should follow the instructions below:

  • Turn on Bluetooth on your computer (you don't really need to connect to the phone)
  • Sign in to your Google Account.
  • Check your Android phone for a login notification.
  • Double-click the "Are you trying to sign in?"Alert (though we had the option of saying" yes "instead immediately).
  • Follow the instructions to confirm you are trying to sign in.

Interestingly, a Google GIF is showing Pixel 3 users who hold the phone's volume knob to confirm access. See below.

It's a very handy addition in general, and should be a long way to make sure your Google Account is as secure as it can be. We also hope that this security key will spread technology to other sites and services in the near future, as it can drastically reduce cases of account breaches.

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