Google 2-Factor Authentication on Phones Gets More Detailed

Google Two Factor Phone Prompt Improvements

Last Summer, Google started allowing users who have 2-factor authentication enabled to get notified and approve account access via a pop-up on their phone.  The feature is deadly handy as it saves a lot of time over having to go over the Google Authenticator app and type in a six digit timed code.  To this point, that pop-up provided basically a yes or no option but didn’t really give you any details other than someone was trying to sign into your account.  That’s changing for the better as Google rolls out an update behind the scenes to improve the details you get when an authorization request is made.

First, if you don’t have 2-factor authentication enabled on your Google account, you can do that by going to myaccount.google.com.  Navigate to Sign in Options and enable it.  After that, you can add your phone to your account as being a device from which you can give authorizations in addition to the Google Authenticator app.  Once you have it enabled, when you try to sign in from another device with your Google account, you will get a prompt on your phone to approve it.

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Google Authenticator Gets a Material Design Makeover

Google has given another fresh coat of paint to their two-factor authentication app, Google Authenticator.  The update is rolling out to the Google Play store now and if you have it installed, you likely will see the OTA for it in the next day or two if not already.  The updated build is version 4.74 for those keeping score at home.  If you aren’t familiar with Authenticator, it is the code generating app when you enable two-factor authentication on your various accounts.  Many services offer two-factor including Google, Microsoft, Evernote, WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, etc.  I strongly urge all readers to enable two-factor on all of their accounts for security purposes.  Yes it is a pain but apps like Google Authenticator allow you to have multiple accounts in the app.

Most of the changes in this update are cosmetic but they are good to see.  First, the app is completely Material Design now which has a nice clean look to it.  The six digit codes generated are now split into two, 3 digit sections so it makes it much easier to read.

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Google Authenticator Updated With Material Design

One of the few non-Material Design apps from Google, Google Authenticator, has finally been updated to reflect a more modern design.  The app has been bumped up to version 4.44 for those keeping score at home and also brings support for Android Wear so you can perform authentications for your 2-factor enabled accounts from your wrist and not just your phone or tablet.

For those who may not know what the app does, it provides you a six digit PIN for you to authenticate your identity on accounts such as Google, Evernote and Dropbox where you have enabled 2-factor authentication.  2-factor authentication is a more secure way of keeping your accounts secure by requiring not only a username or password but also this PIN to prove you are you.  It is always a best security practice to enable 2-factor on your accounts to prevent hacking of your accounts.

Google Authenticator for Android – Free – Download Now

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