Thursday, February 10, 2011

Google Account Advance Sign-in Security Feature

Today, The Official Google Blog provided us with information on this new security feature that would help us not lose control of our email account, such as emails we receive from our friends asking for aid when stranded or invites to the best of employment opportunity; spam to be more specific.  To significantly increase the security of your Google account, Google has developed a new advance security feature called 2-step verification which helps to verify ownership of the account.  This advance protection was developed previously for Google Apps customers and would become available for all Google account holders shortly.  This feature will be rolled out within the next few days via a link in your account settings tab. According to the blog post, enrollment can take up to 15 minutes to complete and there will be a set-up wizard to help in this process. Once the 2-step verification is enabled (see diagram below), you will see a second page prompting for a code to complete the sign-in process. Upon entering your password, Google will call or send you the code via SMS messaging or you are given the choice to generate it yourself through a mobile application for Android, Blackberry or iPhone devices. By entering this code during the sign in process, you are telling Google you are the person authorized to sign into this account. 

This 2-step verification process offers more security since for hacking to occur, the hacker would need to know your username and password as well as have access to your phone. As seen in figure #2 above, you can choose to have your code remembered on this computer for 30 day, but in my opinion this weakens the security process we are hoping to enforce. The post also mentioned one-time application-specific passwords to sign in to non-browser base applications that can ask for the password, but cannot prompt for the code.
To learn more about 2-step verification visit Google’s Help Center.
As always, post your comments, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service,

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