How to use your Android phone as a security key to your Google Account

Google introduced 2 step verification for accessing your google account for quite some time now. Two-step verification is a process whereby two authentication methods are performed one after the other to check and verify that someone or something requesting access is who or what they are declared to be.

Google’s 2-Step Verification service, for example, involves the usual password (something the user knows) and a code sent to the user’s device (something the user has). In most cases, the code is sent in an email to your email address or in a text message to your mobile number. You are then asked to type out the code your received in order to verify you are who you say you are.

Google now allows for some Android device’s built in security key to act as the second step in the two-step verification process. According to Google’s support guide, when used as part of 2-Step Verification, security keys offer stronger protection against hackers breaking into your account with stolen information like passwords or verification codes. It can take just a few minutes to set up your compatible Android phone’s built-in security key to help you securely sign in on a nearby computer.

Android smartphones running version 7 (Nougat) or higher now have a built-in security key. This can be used to verify any attempts you make to log into your Google account on a Bluetooth-enabled Chrome OS, macOS or Windows 10 computer.

To sign in on a computer using your Android phone’s built-in security key, you will need the following:

1. An Android phone running Android 7.0 or up.

2. A computer that has Bluetooth, the latest version of a compatible browser like Chrome, and the latest version of a compatible operating system like Chrome OS, Mac OS, or Windows 10.

For step-by-step instructions to setup your Android’s built in security key for 2-step verification, please follow Google’s support guide.