You may or may not know but Google recently rolled out 2-step verification or to us Internet security geeks – two-factor authentication. So if you use Gmail, Docs, Google Adsense or Analytics, you will be able to use this new security feature.
This is how it works: you will access your Google accounts with your username and password but Google will also send your mobile a One Time Password (OTP) – it’s that simple. You can see it’s the OTP feature (which some banks use for setting up online transfers and payments) that will really add a security benefit.
Google does also use SSL security for login as the first security layer, but what would happen if a hacker managed to hack into your account? They could send spam and malicious URLs from your account to your address book – not a nice thought for you or your friends! So, let me show you how you set this up:
- Login to your Google account
- Click on Settings
- Click on the Accounts and Import TAB
- Where it says Change account settings click on “Other Google Account settings”
- A new browser window will open
- On the right you will see Personal Settings
- Under Personal Settings you will see Security and “Using 2-step verification”
- Click on the Using 2-step verification link
- Click on Set up 2-step verification (this will take about 15 minutes) and follow the screen prompts
NOTE: Google 2-step verification isn’t enabled as default but I suggest if you value your identity status it should be! Also worth pointing out: Users can also tell Google to keep them logged in for 30 days, during which time they will not have to go through the two-step verification and log-in process.
How to use the 2-step verification
- Login to your account with your username and password
- Enter your verification code which is One Time Password (OTP) from your mobile
IMPORTANT NOTE: Non-browser applications and devices that use Google accounts (such as Gmail or Outlook) will stop working when 2-step verification is enabled. You will need to sign in with your username and a unique password you generated for that application. You will have to do this ONLY ONCE for each device or application. This process may stop some from enabling this feature but I hope users will see the added benefits.
Safe surfing folks!