Google Offers Two-Step Authentication to Tighten Gmail Account Security
March 07, 2013
By Colleen Lynch
, TMCnet Contributor
The more popular any e-mail platform gets, the more security issues comes to the forefront, as an increase in users directly results in an increase of hackers. Google (News - Alert) is aiming to combat this phenomenon with their Gmail accounts by making them as safe as possible by introducing a new two-step authentication system.
In today’s impatient society any log-in that requires more than just entering a password isn’t necessarily well-liked, but Google believes this could impact e-mail security in ways that justify adding an extra step to the log-in process.
The way it works is users will now be prompted to enter their regular password, but after doing so another box will pop up asking for another password. This password won’t be provided on your current computer, but will be sent to you by way of SMS, voicemail or smartphone app.
It may seem laborious but do not fear--the code only needs to be entered every 30 days, as long as you log into your e-mail from the same device. Users can also request a new code at any time, for further security.
Gmail has even planned for those who lose their preferred device, if it is a smartphone, or cannot access it, by providing a list of backup emergency codes that you can print out and keep on-hand.
One feature of this new process that may especially irritate users, however, is the fact that many applications on the user’s smartphone will also request a separate, application-specific password that will be generated in the Web interface of the user’s Google account.
The general consensus is that this may be going a little overboard, but Google insists it has its reasons.
To get a first-hand look at the new authentication process, users can go to Gmail.com and log in as usual (in one step). After this, a small arrow at the top right of the page will take you to “Google Account Management,” where you should click on “Security,” then “Using two-step verification,” and lastly click on “edit.”
Of course, the two-step authentication feature is only an option, so it may sink rather than float, but Google will be pushing users to opt-into the new security measure to cut down on hackers and hacking-related incidents.
Basically, if you choose not to implement two-step authentication to your Gmail account and smartphone apps, Google will have no pity for you, so you may want to at least check it out.
Edited by Brooke Neuman