Google in September 2010 introduced a security feature called "2-step verification" that helps protect your Google Account from threats like password compromise and identity theft in . By entering a one-time verification code from your phone after you type your password, you can make it much tougher for an unauthorized person to gain access to your account.
The service was opened to all user of Google Accounts earlier this year in February. Now, today on July 28th, the search company has begin offering "2-step verification" in 40 languages and in more than 150 countries, announced Nishit Shah, Product Manager, Google Security.
"There's never been a better time to set it up: Examples in the news of password theft and data breaches constantly remind us to stay on our toes and take advantage of tools to properly secure our valuable online information. Email, social networking and other online accounts still get compromised today, but 2-step verification cuts those risks significantly."
Here're some resources about 2-step to learn how to quickly increase your Google Account's resistance to common problems like reused passwords and malware and phishing scams. You can read our posts: 2-step Verification Launching Soon To All Users, Google Announced, and Using AdWords Services With Google Account's '2-step Verification' Security Feature, review a couple of simple tips and tricks, watch the videos below.
5 tips for staying safe on the web:
Using 2-step verification:
Below we've embedded a comprehensive Google guide for 2-step verification:
Why you should use 2-step verification
2-step verification 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.
How you sign in with 2-step verification
- When you want to access Google products from your browser, go to that product and enter your username and password.
- You'll next be prompted to enter your verification code, which you'll get from your phone. You'll only have to do this once every 30 days if you so choose.
- Soon after you turn on 2-step verification, non-browser applications and devices that use your Google Account (such as Gmail on your phone or Outlook), will stop working. You'll then have to sign in using your username and a special password you generate for this application. (Don't worry, you'll only have to do this once for each device or application.)
What you'll need
While 2-step verification requires some web savvy, you only need a few basic items:
- A phone that is usually available to you when you sign in. This could be:
- 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 could be:
- A work or home phone (landline or mobile)
- The phone of someone you trust, like a friend or family member.
If you choose to receive text messages on a mobile phone, standard text messaging rates might apply.
How to get started
Go to your Accounts settings page and look for the Using 2-step verification link. If you have the link, click it and start the setup process.
If you do not see the link and you are a Google Apps user, you might have to access the 2-step verification setup through a special URL. It is also possible that your domain administrator has not yet set it up for your organization. Check with your domain administrator to find out.
Wherever you're in the world, sign up for 2-step verification and help keep yourself one step ahead of the bad guys.
[Source: Google Online Security Blog]