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Do you use two-factor authentication with your Google account? [Poll of the Week]

Hardly anyone is using two-factor authentication on their Google accounts. Are you using it? If not, you should.

Published onJanuary 22, 2018

Last week’s poll summary: Out of almost 3,500 total votes, 49.5% of voters said they still feel positively about Huawei, even after the company’s failed U.S. launch. 20.2% of our readers said they feel more negatively about HUAWEI after the events. 19.6% of voters said they don’t feel negatively about the company, though the AT&T withdrawal does come at a bit of a shock.

For roughly 90% of Google users, a single password is the only thing stopping a thief from stealing all their data.

Most of us store sensitive information on our smartphones— and why wouldn’t you? Keeping your account passwords and credit card information on your phone is convenient if you need to do pretty much anything on the internet. Unfortunately, a staggering amount of users with Google accounts aren’t doing very well at protecting their data.

At Usenix’s security- and privacy-focused Enigma 2018 conference in California, Google software engineer Grzegorz Milka revealed that less than 10 percent of Google accounts use two-factor authentication. What’s more, only about 12 percent of Americans use a password manager to protect their accounts.

How to protect your privacy using Android

Those are some pretty disgraceful numbers. But why are they so low? Can’t Google just make two-factor authentication mandatory? The Register asked Milka why the company hasn’t gone that route, and the answer was all about keeping users happy. “The answer is usability,” said Milka. “It’s about how many people would we drive out if we force them to use additional security.”

Two-factor authentication provides an additional layer of security between you and your Google account. For instance, if you have two-factor authentication turned on, simply typing in your password won’t grant you access. After your password is verified, Google will text you a code that you can then use to access your account. Google has tried to make this process easier, but apparently to no avail.

Enabling two-factor authentication is a no-brainer. It takes three minutes to set up, and the benefits of doing so are pretty much endless.

Do you use two-factor authentication with your Google account? If not, what are your reasons? Cast your vote in the poll below, and speak up in the comments if you have anything to add.

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