In the age of digital security, two-factor authentication, or 2FA, is one of the most important lines of defense against a wide array of cybersecurity issues. Recently, Google released an update to let iPhone users take advantage of this tech a lot more easily.
Need a refresher on what 2FA is? Basically, it’s a security system that requires two different authentication mechanisms to bypass, which are often based on something you know or have, such as a password or security key. Over decades, this technology has been integrated neatly into our lives, as the PIN code on your ATM card, perhaps, or, more recently, as those ubiquitous codes texted to you whenever you do basically anything.
Several years ago, Google announced a new way of using 2FA, where your phone can act as its own security key, or one of the two factors you need to unlock your account. You might have run into this system if you’ve recently tried to reset your Gmail password from your computer—you were probably able to reset it just by interacting with a notification on your phone. The system is super simple, easy to use, fast, and secure.
Till now, that method was only available on Android devices running version 7.0 of that OS or newer, but with Google’s Smart Lock app on iPhone, Apple users can also make use of easier 2FA. The implementation on iOS works by utilizing the iPhone’s built-in security capabilities. So far, it seems that the app can only be used for logging into your Google account on another devices, but it’s still a cool development that points towards more support for simple, secure authentication.
If you’re an Android user trying to set up 2FA, check out Google’s guide on Android security keys here.