When you log into your Google account, you just have to enter a username and a password. But from now on you can optionally add an extra layer of security by enabling the 2-step verification. After you have enabled the 2-step verification, you will be required to enter the verification code in addition to the usual username and password. This verification code would be sent to your phone. This means that the potential hacker cannot break into into your Google account even if he knows your password, because they do not have access to your phone.
Before you jump on to use this feature, make sure you have two phones ready — a mobile or landline phone to receive the verification code and another backup phone in case your primary phone is not working. You can use a trustworthy friend’s or a relative’s phone as your backup phone.
You can follow these easy steps to enable the 2-step verification for your Google account :
- Login to your Google account in your web browser and then visit the Security settings for your Google account : https://www.google.com/settings/security/. You might have to enter the password once more to open the settings.
- Click on Settings button shown for 2-step verification in the security settings.
- A web page with information about 2-step verification would be displayed. You can see the graphical information about how 2-step verification is going to protect your Google Account. Click on the button labeled Start Setup to proceed.
- The four step wizard to setup the 2-step verification would start. In the first step, you have to enter your mobile phone or landline phone number. If you have already added a phone number to your Google account, then that number would be automatically selected. If you have not added a phone number, then you can add one now. For verification that you actually have this phone number, a code would be sent to you via SMS (text message) or through automated voice call. Choose a method between the two (SMS or voice call) and then click Send Code button.
- You would receive the code sent to your mobile phone or landline phone in a few seconds. Enter the receieved six digit code in the next step and click on the Verify button. This would confirm your phone number and you can proceed further in the setup.
- In the next step, you can choose to use the current computer as the trusted computer. A trusted computer is one from which you do not require 2-step verification to sign on to your Google account. This is a great way to sign on to your Google acccount in case you lose your mobile phone and are not able to use the 2-step verification. It is entirely a personal choice. In general, select the current computer as trusted only and only if you are the sole user of that computer.
- Finally, you would be shown a confirmation page to turn on the 2-step verification. This is the final step. Click on the Confirm button to finalize setting and enable the 2-step verification for your Google account.
- Now when you sign on to any of the Google services from an untrusted computer, you will receive a 6-digit verification code on your phone which you have to enter in order to sign on. You can store this code on your computer for 30-days after which you will have to enter a new verification code again.