Today is the fourth annual Data Privacy Day 2011. Dozens of countries have been celebrating with events throughout the week to inform and educate us all about our personal data rights and protections.
Alma Whitten, Director of Privacy, Product and Engineering at Google, announced that the company would soon launch 2-step verification to all users in the next few week. "It's helping protect more than 1,000 new accounts a day from common problems like phishing and password compromise. Right now it's available to Google Apps Accounts."
"2-step verification launched in Sep last year, adds an extra layer of security to your Google Account by requiring you to have access to your phone -- as well as your username and password -- when you sign in. This means that if someone steals or guesses your password, the potential hijacker still can't sign in to your account because they don't have your phone."
Here's how it works:
Almost anyone can sign up for 2-step verification. To sign up, you'll need:
- A phone usually available to you when you sign in. This can be either:
- A standard phone (landline or mobile)
- Any Android device, BlackBerry device, iPhone, iPod touch or iPad that can run the Google Authenticator application
- A backup phone that you can use if you lose access to your primary phone. This can be a work or home phone, or the phone of someone you trust, like a friend or family member.
How you'll sign-in
Google Accounts and Google Apps accounts
To sign in to your account, you'll use:
- Your username
- The password you created for your account
- A five- to eight-digit verification code that you'll get from your phone
Depending on your preferences, you'll have to enter this info either every time you sign in to your account or every 30 days.
Applications that access your Google Account
To allow apps, such as smartphone apps and email clients that access your Gmail via POP or IMAP, to access your Google Account, you'll use:
- Your username
- A 16-digit application-specific password in place of your normal password
You'll typically only need to enter this info once per app after turning on 2-step verification.
[tags]data privacy day,digital verification,pop,imap,telephone,cellphones[/tags]