Password leaks are all too common. Data breaches release millions of passwords and account credentials to the web at once. On haveibeenpwned.com, there’s a list of sites that suffered a recent breach and the number of accounts affected:
Other popular sites with reported breaches include: Forbes, LinkedIn, Drop Box, and Kickstarter. Click here for the full list. If a site you have an account on is hacked, the attackers might use that information to access your other accounts across the Internet. To prevent this, online platforms have developed two-factor authentication, aka 2FA or “two-step verification” in Google’s case.
2-step verification is a security measure that requires more than the standard username and password to access your Google account. The two factors are typically your password and a randomly generated number sent to your smartphone. Once you enter this code, Google logs you in.
With 2-step verification turned on, your account will have another barrier for security if your password is leaked in a data breach.
Follow these steps to enable 2-step verification:
- Go to the 2-step verification enrollment page here. Click the “get started” button.
- Sign in to your Google account
- Enter your phone number and select how you’ll receive the code. I recommend selecting text message.
- Check your phone for a text message.
- Enter the numeric code. Do not include “G-”.
You’ve successfully enabled 2-Step Verification! Anytime you log in to your account, you will have to enter a verification code.
If you’d prefer an alternative to receiving texts or you’ll need to access your account in a cellular dead zone. Google has developed two more options for authentication.
Google Prompt on your Phone
Enabling prompts allows you to tap your phone to verify without typing in a code. On the iPhone and iPad, it requires the Google or Gmail app. When you sign in, open the app and tap “yes”.
On Android devices, it can set up in the Settings app under Google. When you sign in, you’ll see a “Trying to sign in?” prompt from Google on your phone. Tap Yes.
If you’ll need access to your Google account in a cellular dead zone, download Google’s Authenticator App. Even when your phone is in airplane mode, it’s able to give you a code to complete your two-step verification.
Selecting Trusted Devices
When you’re signing in on personal, private devices, check “Don’t ask again on this computer.” to add it to your list of trusted devices. Then you won’t have to enter a code every time you sign in from your computer.
If you need assistance setting-up two-factor authentication or any account or device, contact us at [email protected]