Your Android phone's volume key can unlock your Google account


The next time you sign into your Google account with Chrome on a computer you don't normally use, Google will prompt you to bring out the phone you chose as your security key. Users will also need to have another two-step verification method set up - like receiving an SMS code or using the Google Authenticator app. Before, physical authentication keys were limited to dongles like Yubikey or Google's own Titan Security Key. Now, it's enabled a handy feature you should definitely consider using if you've got an Android phone.

In an official blog post, Google has revealed that all smartphones running Android 7.0 or a higher version of Google's mobile OS can now be used as a physical security key to verify and authenticate access to Google services like Gmail and Google Drive linked to their account, both personal and work. For Pixel 3 owners, Google stores the FIDO credentials in the Titan M chip. It's functionally similar to having a Bluetooth fob on your keychain to authenticate you - but you don't need to buy or keep an additional device handy, just your phone.

Establish a Bluetooth connection between your Android smartphone and PC.

Google's implementation of this Android feature also uses the FIDO standards, which means that it should be supported in whichever browser or operating system that supports those standards.

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Sign into your Google account. Many people, however, may not want to pay for an extra security device, or they may simply forget to carry it with them.

Then visit the 2-Step Verification website on your computer and choose the "Add security key" button.

You'll then be presented with a list of compatible devices that belong to you.