Most savvy Internet users probably have at one at least Google account – mainly because Google, for good or bad, crosses paths with so many other websites that it’s hard to avoid not using the services and apps it has to offer. If you use your Google sign-in ID for multiple websites, and/or sign into Google Mail from public or shared computers, you should definitely make sure the account is secure. To better protect your account, Google offers a 2-step verification process designed for your Gmail account. If you haven’t already been requested to use it, here is how it works.
Google says this optional verification procedure is designed to “protect your account even it’s stolen or cracked.” To get started, follow the instructions here, or sign into your Google account > Settings page, and under Security, click “Using 2-Step verification”. It is best to start the process on a computer you use on a regular basis so that you can also authenticate that computer as part of the process. The verification will be remembered on your computer for 30 days. You will also need a landline or mobile phone to receive a text message or phone call for the verification code.
If you’re a Android, BlackBerry, or iPhone user, you can also download a Google Authenticator app which saves you the trouble of doing the authentication process by computer and SMS message. For extra measure, Google also advises that you print backup verification codes in case your phone is lost or stolen.