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

Now, your phone can be your security key.
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Pattanaphong Khuankaew / EyeEm via Getty Images

Google just made two-step verification a little easier for Android users. Android phones running 7.0+ Nougat or newer can be used as a physical security key to confirm a user's identity when logging into a Google account with the Chrome browser. When prompted, users will simply hold the volume button on their phone to verify their log-in attempt. This isn't the only option for two-step verification, but it will likely be faster and more convenient than, say, using a physical key fob.

Users will have to activate the security key on their device before it works, and it's only compatible with Chrome browsers on Bluetooth-enabled Chrome OS, macOS X and Windows 10 devices. Users will also need to have another two-step verification method set up -- like receiving an SMS code or using the Google Authenticator app. That method will be used on mobile devices and browsers other than Chrome, and it'll be helpful in the event that you lose your phone. The built-in security key works with both standard and business Google accounts. While this new method of verification won't work everywhere you might log in with your Google account, it'll make getting set up on your main computer a good bit quicker.

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