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Good News for Android Users - Bad News for Hackers

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Android users can now use their Android phones to log in to their Google account.

And here comes the good news for the Android users, instead of remembering, typing and updating passwords (each and every single time), our lucky Android users can now use their Android phones to log in to their Google account. All you need is a Pixel or any Android device with version 7 or later having Google’s mobile operating system, use your chrome app on your phone to open passwords.google.com, and it will simply allow you to manage all of your passwords for 100 over apps you have signed up for on your phone. By just one click, it will prompt you to “verify that it’s you” and all you have to do is to use your device’s fingerprint or screen lock instead of using a password when visiting certain google services. 

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This new digital collaboration encapsulates the three well known industry-based standards FIDO2, W3C WebAuthn and FIDO CTAP designed especially for today’s Millennials and Gen Z, who are spending at least 15 hours a day on gadgets, to bypass passwords and instead, use fingerprints and other biometrics such as facial and voice recognition. As Google’s Product manager mentioned in last Monday’s post that users now have the luxury to register their fingerprint with a service and that fingerprint will replace the password for both native applications and web services. 

Well, it does sound unbelievably convenient, Google’s promise for automation and additional security stays a top priority by providing two-step verification(2SV) along with Android's built-in security key. However, an integral part of this innovation is that your fingerprint stays safe in your own device and is never shared with Google’s service providers, ensuring that just a cryptographic proof of scanned biometric is sent, alternatively described as FIDO2 signature. Since both the security key and 2SV follow the FIDO2 standards ensuring both device security and the right owners recognition access stay in coherent. 

Finally, the dilemma for hackers come into play whereby using the Google’s automation as a defence mechanism stay at guard, no matter how hard they try to hack into one’ account, your mobile device is out of their range. Therefore, even if your user name and password has been stolen, still logging into your account will be blocked initially by automation followed by the two step verification (2SV). 

Despite Google being the highly used search engine and so does Android being the world’s most popular and widely used operating system empowering phones, tablets, watches, TVs and cars, the question arises how other search engines and operating systems interact with this Android device related security issue. Is it that users with Android and iOS will have to face the restriction of not being able to use other devices? With the release of Android Q, the 10th major release and 17th version of mobile operating system by 3rd quarter of 2019, Google might want to consider the collaboration with other operating systems in order to provide this convenient innovation to all smartphone users which does not seem to happen in the near future. 

With this milestone in authentication journey to keep it simple, fast and reliable for everyone, Google promises to bring similar services for its chrome, cloud and many more platforms in the near future. Since most SMEs and MNCs in Singapore and globally use Google services, not to mention SEM and SEO depends solely on Google too. So, our dear iPhone users! maybe it’s time to change to Android to stay safe and to be on Google’s 1st page.

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