Google is making two-factor authentication mandatory for all of its Nest smart home devices – and not everyone is happy about it.
Nest users will now be required to verify their identity via email when logging into their Nest accounts, Google announced in a help centre post this week.
Starting this month, every time you login to your Nest account, you’ll need to look out for an email from firstname.lastname@example.org. This message will contain a six digit verification code that needs to be entered in order to sign in and prove that you’re the one trying to access your smart speaker.
“That code will be used to make sure it’s you trying to login”, wrote Google when it first announced the changes in February. “Without it, you won’t be able to access your account. This will greatly reduce the likelihood of an unauthorized person gaining access to your Nest account”.
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The goal is to cut down on the number of cybercriminals hacking into Nest accounts after obtaining usernames and passwords on the web. While two-factor authentication is an effective step in protecting smart devices, not everyone is happy that Google has decided to make the login method mandatory.
Nest thermostat users, in particular, have sounded off in the comments to protest the additional steps.
“I have a thermostat. I don’t need the added hassle of 2-party verification in order to turn on the air conditioning”, wrote one frustrated user. “Please rethink this policy for non-security applications. I can always lose the Nest and purchase a less inconvenient way to control the temperature in my home”.
Others have installed Nest devices in rental properties and are unhappy at the idea of giving tenants access to their Google accounts.
The extra verification step only applies to those who have not already enabled two-factor authentication with their phone number and have not migrated their Nest to a Google account – so anyone not already going through multiple steps to log in to their account.
The new feature began rolling out in May, meaning your Nest device could already be requesting two-factor authentication. You may want to check you still have access to your email address if you don’t want to get locked out of your smart thermostat anytime soon.