User accounts on Gmail, Google's email service, have had two-factor authentication for almost the past seven years. A new report, although, shows that less than 10 percent of the active Google accounts have '2-step verification' turned on. A 2016 study also revealed that just about 12 percent Americans use a password manager to safeguard their passwords.
A report by The Register states that Google software engineer Grzegorz Milka revealed these numbers to the publication. Milka also said, "It's about how many people would we drive out if we force them to use additional security," on being asked why Google hadn't yet made two-factor authentication mandatory on Gmail. He claimed that less than one in ten active accounts using the feature is linked with its usability. The report claims that a significant number of users had problems entering in the access code sent via SMS, while trying to set up 2-step verification.
Google's 2-step verification works by asking for a password and another layer of security - usually a code sent to your phone or a Security Key. The feature is mostly helpful in protecting against unauthorised sign-ins from other devices. This is because the perpetrator will still need a physical object - in this case a phone or a Security Key - to get into the account.
According to the report, Google is also working on preventing hijacks even without 2-step verification. The Mountain Giant "has increased its use of heuristics to detect dodgy behaviour."
We encourage readers to employ 2-step verification on their Gmail accounts. This additional security process, although cumbersome in the short term, is beneficial in times when issues such as ransomware and Bitcoin hacks are plaguing the digital world.