It seems like just about any service on the internet can be hacked these days. Just having a password to protect your information is starting to feel like such a frail kind of security. So what is better than having a password protect your stuff online? How about TWO passwords!
Let’s call it “Multi-factor Authentication.”
This is actually more than just having two passwords, it really means protecting your information with an extra verification step. The first one being the password that you already know, and the other one being a code sent to your cell phone or other portable device that you would have on you.
In this way, if someone were to steal your password, they still couldn’t get into your email account! All safe and secure. (that is, unless they also stole your cell phone and knew what they should do with it. I mean, you do realize that “secure” really means “hoop” – as in all you’re doing is setting up a hoop for an attacker to jump through in order to get your stuff. Let’s just stop there).
It might sound like taking the extra step would be a hassle. Think you might get tired of always entering two methods of verification just to check your email? Well, most sites realize this, and so once you enter two-step verification they remember what computer you are using, so you won’t have to do it again (for at least 30 days). If you go to the public library and use a public computer then yes you will need to enter in, but that’s a good thing. You don’t want some bad guy finding out your password and then using it on any computer they happen to be next to.
Google came out with an app for your android, and iOS to assist with this process. It’s well worth checking out. Just search for Google Authenticator in your app store.
I strongly recommend setting up multi-factor authentication for your gmail account. And if you have a website hosting account, set it up there too! Got any questions? Please leave a comment below.
- Wikipedia article – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-factor_authentication
- Google Blog – http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/advanced-sign-in-security-for-your.html