Google Prompt is Now the Primary Choice for 2-Step Authentication

Google Prompt is Now the Primary Choice for 2-Step Authentication

Two-step authentication for Google accounts has been a feature for quite a few years now. Traditionally, this has used SMS-based verification to authenticate your sign-in attempt. This has worked well and provided a layer of security above and beyond that of a password, but it has always been a bit cumbersome to use, as it involves typing a six-digit code received via SMS. To rectify this inconvenience, Google began inviting users in July to use Google prompt as their 2-Step verification method, instead of SMS.

According to Google, Prompt is an easier and more secure method of authenticating an account, and it also respects mobile policies enforced on employee devices. Google prompt consists of a prompt notification in the form of a question being sent to the 2-step verification device, a simple “yes” or “no”. If the answer was in the affirmative, the sign-in attempt was successful and there was no need to enter a six-digit code. Therefore, it massively improved convenience in the sign-in user experience.

Now, Google prompt has been made the first choice when users turn on 2-Step verification. Previously, SMS fulfilled this role. Google states that once 2-Step verification is enabled, users will still have the option to set up SMS, the Google Authenticator app, or backup codes as their alternative second step.

It should be noted that this affects only new users of 2-Step verification. The settings of existing users haven’t been changed. However, they can change their settings voluntarily, if they want to switch to Google prompt. Also, users need to have a compatible device to use Prompt for 2-Step verification. If they doesn’t have a compatible device, they will be prompted to use SMS verification.

Google also notes that to use Google prompt, you will need to have a data connection, unlike SMS verification, which required only cellular connectivity. Our take is that Prompt is a long-overdue step to reduce the inconvenience that 2-Step Authentication has had up till now. It is to be hoped that this leads to an increased adoption of 2-Step authentication, because an additional layer of security is always welcome.

To use Prompt, users can setup 2-step verification from their My account page.


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