Increase your account security by activating Google's 2-Step Verification feature. Also known as 2 Factor Authentication, this tool adds an additional layer of protection when signing in to your Google account. When activated, users will be required to log in not only with their password, but also with an additional security measure (i.e. codes delivered via text, voice call, or mobile app, usb security key, printed backup code, etc).
Why Configure 2-Step?
The main benefit of activating 2-step verification is that you significantly increase your account protection against hackers. Here's how your account is better protected:
- 2-Step adds an extra barrier between your personal information and the bad guys. In order for others to access your account, not only will they need to know your username and password, but they must also have access to your additional security code.
- 2-Step can help block attackers from accessing your email, documents, photos, music, and other important files.
- 2-Step requires unique security codes that are created each time your account is accessed on a new device, application, or web browser.
- 2-Step provides you with these security codes (via text, voice call, or mobile app) when you log into your Google account from a device, application, or browser you haven't used before. If you weren't logging into your account and you receive a mobile notification, the hacker is blocked (since they don't have your freshly generated code) and you know to change your password!
The Cost To You...
This all sounds too good to be true. The truth is, Google does not charge for this extra layer of protection, but it does require a little work on your end when you initially configure a device or an application to connect to your Google account with 2-step verification.
Google makes this process as painless as possible by providing multiple ways to get a code when you need it.
- Text Message
- Request codes be delivered via text message to your mobile device.
- Google Authenticator app
- Download this free mobile app to generate codes even without service or data connectivity. Available for iPhone, Android, or Blackberry devices.
- Security Key
- Simply register a security key to insert into your computer’s usb drive when prompted and avoid using codes altogether. Google recommends Yubico’s FIDO security key
- Backup Codes
- Print a paper copy of backup codes that you can keep with you if you ever find yourself without your mobile devices.
- Registered Computers
- Computers you trust and use frequently to access your Google account can be set to not require a 2nd factor for 30 days. Authentication may be required more often in certain browsers depending on the cookie settings. Additional information about setting up trusted computers and configuring cookie settings in your browser can be found on Google's 2-Step Verification Support page.
- Application Specific Passwords
- If you are connecting an application to your Google Account that is not programmed to accommodate the 2-step verification method, then you must generate an “application specific password” (e.g. Pidgin and other Instant Messenger programs)
- Before turning on this protection feature, please take time to learn more about possible issues with 2-Step Verification.
- Visit g.co/2sv, log in with your Siena College username and password, click Start Setup and complete the 2-step verification settings.
- We strongly encourage you to perform the following steps while you enable 2-step verification. These steps will prevent you from being locked out of your account in the event you lose your primary means of receiving verification codes.
- Add at least one backup phone number where the verification code can be sent.
- Print out the one-time use backup codes that Google provides and keep them with you. These can be used in place of the generated codes if your phone is not available.
- Application specific passwords will need to be created to connect (or stay connected) to your Google account for the following devices:
- Devices running Android 2.3.x or older
- Apple IOS devices
- Email clients (Thunderbird, Outlook, Mac Mail, etc.)
- Instant Messengers (Pidgin, Adium, etc.)
- Setup only takes a few minutes.
- Again, please be sure to review the entire setup process before configuring your account: Configure 2-Step Verification
Note: If Siena College account holders only use their personal device to receive a 2-step/factor code for a college application, the personal device is not subject to monitoring/discovery.