Two-step password authentication is one of the best ways today to protect your accounts from being compromised by nefarious individuals. In most cases, like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, access to your account is tied to both a password, and to a unique code that is generated either via text message or through an application on your mobile device.
If you are a heavy user of Google services, or if you have sensitive information in your GMail account, you should consider adding Google’s two-step authentication features to your account. The process of setting the extra security up is easy, and makes your account extremely difficult for anyone but you to access.
To enable two-step verification, just go through the following steps:
1) Visit Google’s 2-Step Verification page, and click “Get Started”
2) Select a phone for login codes to be sent to. You have the option of receiving login codes via text message, or a voice call. Once you enter a phone number, you will immediately receive a code to verify the phone number.
3) You can choose to have Google trust the computer that you are currently using so that you will be asked to enter verification codes less frequently (generally every 30 days.)
4) Confirm that you want to turn on 2-Step verification.
At this point, you have turned on 2-Step verification for your Google account. By default, you will receive login codes via text message (or phone call) whenever you try to log in. Google also offers, however, a useful application for your Android, iPhone, or Blackberry device, that will let you open an app to get a six-digit code whenever you need it. A helpful backup emergency option also is to print a list of backup codes that can be used in an emergency. I have a small square of paper with backup login codes that I keep in my wallet, and although I’ve only had to use one once in the two-plus years I’ve had 2-Step verification activated, you’ll be very glad you have the option if you ever need it.