A recent security breach was uncovered Hold Security claiming to have to collected hundreds and millions of login credentials from a variety of different email services. According to Reuters, the largest percentage of data breach seemed to belong to Mail.ru, with credentials from the world’s biggest email service providers like Gmail, Yahoo and Microsoft also being compromised. These included as many as 24 million accounts from Google, 33 million Microsoft users’ credentials and users on Yahoo Mail being as many as 40 million.
In light of this, it is highly recommended that users apply the two-step authentication/verification on your Google account. This process is meant to help combat any intruder’s efforts to access any Google service that requires your Google account data credentials to login, by requiring more than just a password to authenticate that the account is really theirs.
What is the Google two-step verification?
Basically, the two-step verification activation on your Google account, will need the entering of a password as well as a secret code that will be sent to your phone either through a call, text or an authenticator app. The use of two steps to verify if you are the real owner of an account, boosts the account’s security. Before you can begin the step towards enabling the two-step verification, first ensure that you change your current Google password, if you haven’t done so already.
How to activate two-step verification within the Google Authenticator app
- Launch the Google Chrome web browser on your desktop computer.
- Into the address bar, type in g.co/2sv.
- Enter your password, on the page that follows.
- Click on the Sign In tab.
- Under 2-step Verification, Select Off.
- Click TURN ON.
- Enter your password, then click on Sign In.
- Tap on the drop down flag menu, then proceed to choose your country.
- Enter your mobile phone number.
- From the options, choose either Text message or Phone call.
- Click on the TRY IT button. You will receive your code via a text message or phone call, depending on the mode you chose.
- Enter the received code in the space provided for it on the web page on your browser.
- Click on NEXT.
- Click on TURN ON.
And you are set! Your Google account is now enabled with the two-factor verification system.
Now, let’s see how the Google Authenticator app can be enabled on your Android phone, for additional protection and convenience.
Enabling your Google Authenticator app for the account on your Android
To get started simply click on the following link
- Tap on the Next tab.
- Tap the Switch to app button.
- Tap on Android.
- Tap Continue. A barcode will appear on your desktop’s screen. Ensure that the barcode remains on your browser's screen, as you proceed with the following steps.
- Go to your Android phone and launch the Play Store.
- On the search bar, key in Google Authenticator.
- Hit the Search icon.
- In the search results that appear, select the Google Authenticator app by Google Inc.
- Hit the INSTALL tab.
- Hit the ACCEPT button.
- Once the app download is complete, tap the OPEN button.
- On the page that launches, tap on BEGIN SETUP.
- Select the Scan a barcode option.
- Using your phone, scan the barcode displayed on the screen of your computer.
- Hit Open browser.
- Tap on OK.
After this process, you will no longer receive a text or a call with the verification code, instead, the Google Authenticator app will give you access to a unique code which you will be able to use whenever you log in to the Google account on your Android. For added security, the code changes every 30 seconds, which means you have to use the code that matches Google’s present timed window. Access to your account by anyone who doesn't have their hands on your phone will almost be impossible.
What do you thing about the recent hack? Have you enabled the two-step verification on your Google account? Let us know in the comments.