In June of last year, I wrote an article “My Gmail Account Hacked From Nigeria”, (outlining my experience following a Gmail account hack), which drew a substantial number of comments, and complaints (directed at Google), from Gmail users.
An interesting point was raised in several of the comments, and that is – Gmail users’ should have the option of enforcing a two stage sign-in authentication process. In other words, a sign-in process that relies not only on a password.
Good news then for those users who raised this issue. Google has just announced the availability of an opt-in two stage sign-in authentication process, for all Google accounts – Gmail, Google Apps, and so on.
Here’s how it works, according to Google:
Using 2-step verification will help prevent strangers from accessing your account with just a stolen password. When you sign in with 2-step verification, you’ll verify your identity using both a password and a code that you receive on your phone
Additionally, Google has built in an option under which account verification (once you set it up), can be retained for a specific computer for up to 30 days.
If Gmail security is one of your concerns, then go to “Accounts and Imports” – click on Google Account settings (in this illustration I’ve used Gmail)… (click on any graphic to expand).
On your Google accounts page ), click on “Using 2 step verification” under “Personal Settings” – “Security”.
From Google’s Getting started with 2-step verification page:
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.)
Note: Google, as it always does with new features, is rolling out this two stage sign-in authentication option gradually. Consequently, you may not have access yet – you will shortly, however.
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