How does Google’s 2-step verification protect your Gmail or Google Apps account?

These days it is commonplace to have the same password which is used to access more than one website and we are working more  in public places like coffee shops and airports. Both of these factors make it easy for your account to be hacked and your information to be stolen. That’s why Google have released 2-step verification to protect your precious emails, files and addresses.

How 2-step verification works

We are all ready using two step verification each time we logon to our bank accounts by entering a code into a dongle . Google’s 2-step verification is similar and uses your mobile phone instead.

The first time you access your Gmail or Google for Work account on a computer other than your normal day to day machine, after you have logged in with  your username and password, a code will securely be sent to your phone. You then use this code to verify that it is your account giving you access to your emails as normal.

The above process ensures that only you have access to your emails and no one else which is as it should be!

Obviously you don’t want to do this every time you login to your Google account, so you can set it so it will only ask you for a new code every 30 days if you trust the computer you are accessing your account from.  Where this is powerful is when you are using someone elses computer  or if you are using a shared computer at home, in a school or internet cafe.


Protecting your phone with an Application-specific password

What the above doesn’t protect you from is if someone were to steal your password and try to access your google account on their mobile device. To protect you from this, Google allows you to setup a unique password for each mobile device. You only have to do this once and it will authorise each of the devices (iPhone, iPad, Blackberry or Android) you own.


Is is necessary?

So far this year I have received urgent calls from two clients who have had their strong and complicated passwords hacked. With 2-step verificiation, this won’t happen again and their data is fully protected. I like how Google’s 2-step verification works; it takes a little time to set up, but in the long run is worth it.

The video above explains how to protect your account Google for Work or personal gmail account.

…Enjoy working and play safe online!

About Carl the IT Hound

I am passionate about all things technical and in helping businesses to improve how they work and experience greater efficiencies with the right technology

3 Responses to How does Google’s 2-step verification protect your Gmail or Google Apps account?

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