Google is forcing all Nest users to use two-factor authentication—and that’s a good thing

By Michael Grothaus

If you’re a Nest user who doesn’t already use two-factor authentication on your account, Google is about to force you to. But that’s a good thing.

Two-factor authentication, or 2FA for short, is a type of authentication procedure where a user needs to enter two types of information when logging in to an account. This information usually includes their password as well as a separate code emailed or texted to them, or one generated from an authentication app.

The idea behind 2FA is it makes it virtually impossible for someone to log in to your account, even if they have your password. If they don’t also have access to the device or service which you received your associated 2FA code through, they aren’t going to be able to get into your account.

2FA is a no-brainer in today’s world—and it’s especially needed for smart home devices, considering how easy it can be for bad actors to access them. That’s why Google, owner of Nest, announced earlier this year that it would soon require all Nest users who have not already enabled 2FA or linked their Nest account to their Google account, to receive a code via their registered email and enter that code along with their password whenever logging in to their Nest account.

And that day has now come, as a document in Nest’s help pages explains:

The time has come, and beginning in May, Nest will be adding this new account security feature. When a new login is initiated, you’ll receive an email from with a six digit verification code to be entered in order to successfully sign in. This code is to verify it is you trying to access your account and without this code, you will not be able to log in.

Yeah, 2FA will make logging in to your Nest account just a little more inconvenient—but you get more security in return. And you’ll probably rest easier knowing strangers can’t talk to your baby or that no one is going to make you believe North Korea just launched a nuclear attack.

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