October 1, 2016

Google to Offer Two Step Login for all Google Accounts

As more and more of us become dependant on our online accounts, Google is taking the lead in offering enhanced security for all Google accounts. If you use Gmail, Blogger, Picasa Web Albums or Google Docs you most likely have a Google account. If that account is compromised then all your emails, private albums and documents become exposed and worse your attacker can use your account for fraudulent and/or nuisance activities.

Most, if not all, online banking services offer a two step verification process where, along with a username and password, a second authentication token is required to successfully login. This token is normaly in the form of a 4 or 6 digit number which is either sent to your mobile phone (via SMS) or generated by some kind of dedicated hardware device (for example a card reader which is used in conjunction with your bank card). Once your username and password are entered along with the code you can access the system. The idea is that if your username and password become compromised the hacker can’t access your account as they have no way of generating or receiving the secondary code.

Google are now to start offering the same service for all Google accounts. Once you enable 2-step verification, you’ll see an extra page that prompts you for a code when you sign in to your account. After entering your password, Google will call you with the code, send you an SMS message or give you the choice to generate the code for yourself using a mobile application on your Android, BlackBerry or iPhone device.

Google has posted a blog entry about this new functionality here and there is additional help here.

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