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Tip of the Week: Set Up 2-Step Verification for Your Google Account

b2ap3_thumbnail_googles_two_factor_authentication_400.jpgToday’s headlines are dominated by stories of major companies getting hacked, making the average computer user feel uneasy about their security. If you’re solely dependent on a measly password to protect you from hackers, then you’ve got good reason to worry. Adding a second layer of verification is an easy way to protect your information. Here’s how to set up 2-Step Verification for your Google account.

Keep in mind that most online accounts offer a two-factor authentication too, and as is the case with Google, setting up this extra security measure is easy to do.

How Google 2-Step Verification Works
Google’s 2-Step Verification security feature works by signing in to Google using your password, as you normally would. Before you’re given access to your account, Google will send your phone a temporary security code, via an SMS message, voice call, or mobile app that will complete the login process. Google also gives you the option to have your second step be a Security Key that you insert into your computer’s USB port.

The advantage of using 2-Step Verification is that a user will need to have a physical piece of hardware, like your smartphone or USB Security Key, in order to log in. This makes it much more difficult for your account to be hacked because the hacker needs both your password and your phone, which effectively eliminates everybody outside of the people you’re in immediate contact with.

How to Get Set Up with 2-Step Verification
Getting set up with Google’s 2-Step account is as easy as logging into your Google account and then going to this URL: https://accounts.google.com/SmsAuthConfig

Click on Start setup >> and Google will walk you through the rest. This will include giving Google your phone number so they can send you an SMS message every time you sign in. Be sure to have your phone handy before clicking on the Start setup icon.

It’s important to keep in mind that Google's 2-Step Verification isn’t limited to SMS messages. When setting up this security feature, you will be presented with the option to use your landline phone number to retrieve your second step login code via an automated phone call from Google. Additionally, if you plan on using your Google account while traveling, you can print off a set of one-time-use codes from the account security page.

Remember that other online accounts offer two-factor authentication as well. To achieve the highest online security possible for your accounts, we highly recommend that you take advantage of this security feature everywhere that it’s offered. If you would like help setting up your company with two-factor authentication for its online accounts, as well as setting up other network security solutions that pull the rug out from underneath the hackers, give White Mountain IT Services a call at 603-889-0800.

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