The use of emails have grown rapidly in the past years. According to studies conducted by Pew Research, 92% of American adults use Internet to send or read emails. According to other studies, an average corporate user receives about 110 emails per day.
I think Gmail is awesome, it has such a beautiful, clean interface for the email, amazing conversation layout, etc. Above all of these, what I find wonderful is the other Google products, such as Google Docs- I use Google docs with my project mates for collaborating and it work awesome. Most of us use a single Gmail address and the same password for all of these products (Gmail, Google Docs, Google+, YouTube, Calendar, to name a few). Losing such an account is scary as you can imagine. What if someone hack into your email and send out spams to your family, friends and colleagues? There are numerous examples of such incidents which again stresses on the importance of having a stronger password and other ways to secure our emails. In this article, we will look in to the 2-step verification feature introduced by Google recently.
What is 2-Step verification for Gmail?
It has been few years since Banks around the world started using two-factor authentication (TFA) where we get a token and we need to enter the password as well as the random number generated by the token in order to access our account using Internet. If any of these authentication fails, you cannot get into your account. This is what Google is aiming with 2-step verification process introduced somewhere in Oct 2011.
Two-step verification is an opt-in security measure. That means, you go for it only if you believe you need an extra layer of security for your email or other services tied to your email. Opting-in for 2-step verification means that you need to enter a code which will be sent to you via SMS or voice call to your registered mobile phone whenever you want to access your Gmail. Regardless of 2-step verification, it is highly recommended that you use a stronger password and not something that you may see in this list here.
How to configure 2-Step verification for Gmail?
To configure 2-step verification, you can follow the steps outlined below;
Step 1: Login to your Gmail Account
Step 2: Go to “Account Settings” by clicking on your name appearing at the top right corner
Step 3: You should be able to see “2-step verification” under “Security” section, click on “Edit”
Step 4: Click on “Start setup >>” in “Protect your account with 2-step verification” page
Step 5: Enter your mobile phone number and choose how you like to receive the 2-step verification code (either by SMS or Voice call)
Step 6: Test your phone. Google will send you a code to the number you just entered. You got to enter that code in the text box given here and click “Verify”
Step 7: You will see a status saying “Your phone number is configured.” Click Next
Step 9: You can opt to remember the computer you are currently using for 30 days, so that you don’t have to do 2-step verification whenever you login from this computer
Step 10: Click next and you will see a button to “TURN ON 2-STEP VERIFICATION”. Once clicked, Google will activate your 2-step verification for the choose account
How it works?
This is how 2-step verification for your Gmail works. Whenever you signing to your account for which the 2-step verification has been activated, you have to enter the password as usual. In few seconds, you will receive the code to verify your account on your registered mobile number. You can access your account only if you enter this verification code. So if anyone else than you try to access/ hack into your email, you will always be notified and you can do necessary steps to prevent your email being hacked.
What happens if you lost your Mobile Phone
Google provides us to register a backup phone number, which can be used in case if we lost our primary phone number. Google will then send the verification code to the secondary phone whenever the primary number is unreachable.
What happens if you don’t have your phone with you for few days
There may be some times, when you don’t carry your phone with you for whatever reasons. Google lets you print out a set of backup verification codes, which can be used to access your email. Please remember that you will not be able to access your email if you don’t enter this verification code.
How to turn off 2-step verification if I don’t like it
In case you find entering a verification code whenever you want to access your Gmail, you can turn off the 2-step verification by logging in to your Gmail >> “Account Settings” >> “Edit” 2-Step verification >> and click on “Turn off 2-step verification”. Once done, you will not be asked to enter the verification code when you want to access your Gmail.
I feel that Google has taken a strong step in helping its users secure their email and other services provided by Google. I hope other major players too follow suit. As every thing we do to to secure our Internet facilities may add another layer of inconvenience, your choice to opt-in for 2-step verification should be based on how sensitive is your data to you. If you are a kind of person who uses a single email address for every damn thing you do online, THIS IS A MUST for you, if you ask me. You should never use a single email for everything, create multiple addresses, anyway, it is free!
Well, what do you think of Google’s 2-step verification? Share it with others in the comments sections.
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