Email accounts are always getting compromised. This will unfortunately remain an issue in the future and while Internet usage is becoming a bigger part of our life with every passing day, security issues like this do make users very uncomfortable.
Let’s face it. It would be very difficult to communicate with others without having an e-mail account. And while we are very dependent of e-mail and e-mail communication, security remains our highest priority.
One way to protect your e-mail account or any other Internet account is to use a strong password. A strong password may not be enough on its own, but it’s definitely where you have to start.
Another tool, that would make your Gmail account (and others) less likely to be hacked or compromised when combined with a strong password, would be Two-factor Authentication.
OK, let’s see how this works. It basically combines “something you know”, like your password, and “something you have”, like your smart phone. These two things are needed to gain access to your account. If one of them is missing, account access will be denied.
Here is a link to the detail steps:
As depicted in the link above, you will need to install the free Google Authenticator application in your smart-phone. Once you start the Google Authenticator application on your smart-phone you will see the 6-digit “verification code”. This code will change as depicted in the pie chart, as it empties out and a new one gets generated.
At the moment you log into your Gmail account and enter your username and password, it will ask you to enter the current “verification code” which you can find on your smart-phone. Once you enter this random verification code, you will be given access to your account.
Wait, this sounds like those physical tokens devices that enterprise users carry around on their key chain to log into their bank or company accounts. They must be expensive, right?
Nope, it’s absolutely free!
You can use the Google Authenticator App on your Android, iPhone, iPod, iPad or Blackberry device. Google Authenticator is secure, open-source and based on open standards.
Some other services that are also using Google Authenticator are: LastPass, WordPress, Dropbox, Amazon Web Services, Drupal and DreamHost.
Two-step verification is easy to enable and it will protect your account in a way that large enterprises and the banking industry do to protect their accounts. Start using Google Authenticator and you will be more secure with your most important information.