How to use your Android smartphone as a security key

With two-factor authentication, you can also secure your accounts online. Google is now going one step further and allowing you to use the Android smartphone as a kind of hardware key.

If you’re currently using two-factor authentication on Google, you’ll receive a web notification, email, call, or text on your smartphone to confirm your identity when signing in or to deny access. An alternative for added security is to purchase a hardware key that uses Bluetooth, NFC, or the USB port to verify your identity.

This is exactly what Google offers and uses your Android smartphone to become the hardware key. The company uses the standard FIDO2 to this end. To be able to use the new procedure, your smartphone must be equipped with Android 7.0 or a more recent version of Android. On the PC, you want to connect to Chrome OS, Mac OS, or Windows 10. Bluetooth must be supported and a compatible browser must be available.

How to use your Android smartphone as a security key

How to activate the new function

  1. To go to the google security page
  2. Enable two-factor authentication
  3. Choose the two-step verification
  4. Scroll to Add security key
  5. The list of devices supporting this feature will be displayed.
  6. Select the appropriate device and press Add.

To use this feature, you need to turn on Bluetooth and the location on your phone so that Google can establish the connection and verify your proximity to the connection location.

How to use the feature on your PC

  1. Activate Bluetooth on your PC (you don’t have to actively connect to the phone)
  2. Sign in to your Google account on your PC
  3. Check the notification on your Android smartphone.
  4. Confirm that you are trying to connect.
  5. Follow the next prompt on the screen.

Read also: Difference between hacker, programmer, developer and security researcher

With the new method, your Google account and the data it contains are a little better protected. Perhaps Google is further extending the function and also securing the connection to other web pages.