You can use your Android phone as security key or two-factor authentication tool on computers running Windows 10, Chrome OS or macOS, but it can unlock your iPhone too.
Most people may want to use it to unlock their iPads too, but if you’re one of those who have two devices – an Android phone and iPhone – you can use the former to unlock the latter.
Two-factor authentication is a critical method used to make sure your online accounts are secure and remain that way. For years now, Google has been offering the solution but things are stepping up now as you can use your Android phone as sort of a hardware security key.
We’ll show you how to do this but note that these steps also work for iOS devices only you’ll need to use Google Smart Lock iOS app instead of your computer to go to a web address.
At the moment, if you’re using two-factor authentication, you can receive calls on your phone, emails or web-based notifications and quickly grant or refuse access to your account. However, hackers and cyber-criminals can work around such alerts to get hold of and steal your credentials.
A good alternative is getting a hardware security key fob with NFC, Bluetooth or USB connection that can authenticate access to your account.
This latest solution by Google is like the hardware-based approach that’s based on the FIDO2 standard. This means you can use any Android 7 Nougat phone or higher version, as they’re equipped with the required security key technology.
Also required is a compatible browser and operating system like ChromeOS, Windows 10 or macOS computer with Bluetooth.
How to Enable and Use Android Phone as Security Key
For the functionality to work, you need to enable it on your Google account so you can use Android phone as security key. To do this:
- On your Android phone, go to myaccount.google.com/security to enable two-factor authentication (Security>2-step verification>get started)
- From the verification page, locate Add Security Key
- A list of compatible devices will be displayed that belong to you
- Choose the desired device
- Tap Add
- Enable Bluetooth and Location on your phone
To use the feature on your computer, do this:
- Enable Bluetooth on your computer without connecting to the phone
- Log in to your Google account
- Go to your Android phone and check for a log in notification
- Tap Are you trying to sign in alert twice and follow the prompts to confirm the sign in
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Elsie is a tech writer with 8+ years professional experience. For Tech News Watch, she brings rich experience contributing to topics such as Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS among others. In her spare time, she loves checking out the latest tech trends, gadgets, and news, listening to music and cars.