What is it and why do I need it?
Two-step verification adds an extra layer of security to your Google Account, so if you do not use Google for email, a calendar, web developer tools, analytics, or any of the other services Google offers, then you don’t need 2-step verification.
On the other hand, it’s likely that you DO use one or more of Google’s services, and have one or more Google accounts. Here’s how it works – in addition to your username and password, you’ll be asked to enter a code that Google will send you via text or voice message to a phone number YOU specify. You have the option to make the device (laptop, phone, etc) that you are using to access your account a “trusted” device or location. When you log in from the same location or device you will not have to provide the additional code each time.
If you, or someone else, tries to access your Google account from anywhere else, it will ask for the authorization code. Unless someone also has your phone, and is savvy enough to realize what the 2-step authorization is, your account will be secure from someone randomly guessing your password.
To set up 2-step verification, read and follow the links in this article: How Two-Step Verification Works
If you still think you don’t need the additional security, read how one person was hacked, and how 2-step would have prevented most of the damage: My Epic Hacking. Then think of how much of your online presence is linked to your gmail address or Google account. It’s worth a little extra time and inconvenience now to avoid, potentially, much more inconvenience and harm in the future.
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I use Two-Factor Authentication across a lot of my accounts. I feel a lot more secure when I can telesign into my account with an OTP. I am glad that is offered as an option for many sites, but not enough. It is worth the time and effort to have the confidence that your account won’t get hacked and your personal information isn’t up for grabs. It would be nice to see more of the leading companies in their respective verticals start giving their users the perfect balance between security and user experience. I know some will claim that 2FA makes things more complicated, but the slight inconvenience each time you log in is worth the confidence of knowing your info is secure. I’m hoping that more companies start to offer this awesome functionality. To me this should be a prerequisite to any system that wants to promote itself as being secure.