Ever had your house broken into? Whenever you hear victims recount their feelings after a break in, you hear how violated they felt at someone being in their house. Naturally, after something like that happens, security in the home gets beefed up with some extra locks and the likes. But getting your email hacked can be pretty violating too. That account is linked to your social media, your friends and family, your financial information and quite likely holds years of correspondence. Even so, 90% of Gmail users aren’t making use of a completely free feature that will make their accounts infinitely more secure. This article is all about two-step verification.
What is Two-step Verification?
This is a Ronseal moment as two-step verification does exactly what it says on the tin; it takes two steps to identify you as you, the owner of your Gmail account. Gmail is one of the world’s most popular email providers with 15% of users opting for it. This also makes it a tasty target for hackers. Should you be in the 10% of users using two-step verification, a hacker could get your email address and password but still not be able to access your email.
How Does Two-step Verification Work?
After you try to sign into your Gmail account, if you have 2SV set up, you’ll then be prompted to enter a code. You’ll get this in the form of a text message, a voice call from Google or using Google’s Authenticator app. The latter is definitely my choice as it’s a little cool. With a little imagination, it’s kind of like having your own nuclear codes.
When prompted for your 2SV code, open the Authenticator app and you’ll be greeted with an access code for the account your trying to log in to. You might have to be quick though as these access codes refresh every minute.
Google has also developed the Authenticator app so you can add an extra layer of protection to other sites too. Personally, I use 2SV for Gmail, Trello, and Twitter and will be setting it up for Facebook too. An extra layer of protection for your personal data and it doesn’t cost you a penny.
Why Wouldn’t You Do This?
Setting Up 2SV
The quickest way to set up 2SV is to use Google’s “Security Check-Up” feature. In here, you can review a few bits and bobs around your account and enable 2SV. You’ll need to download the Google Authenticator app for either iOS or Android, scan a barcode and then you’re done. Your Google account is now infinitely more secure than it was a few minutes ago.