Why Two is always better than one: 2FA

The safety of data is the highest priority for any individual or the company itself. Most often this security is done via passwords which can be simply broken by hackers with sufficient time and computing power. To battle this vulnerability, Google chose to offer its consumers a service known two-factor authentication (2FA) to keep their data safe.


So, what exactly is Two-Factor Authentication?

In the case of a triggered two-factor authentication process, the operator is first required to enter in the password (as set by him/her to access a service) followed by the second tier of passcode. This subsequent passcode could any of the following:

  1. A random code produced by the service provider and sent to the designated device via text, email or call
  2. The randomly chosen question, the answer to which is only known to you
  3. An advanced scan of your retina or thumbprint

If this second hurdle is crossed you will be able to access the service, if not you will be locked out until you can prove you’re not trying to enter someone else’s account.


Google’s high-level Two-Factor Authentication

It’s recommended to use two-factor authentication across all your different Google accounts. By doing this, no new device will be able to sign into your accounts. Google presents multiple options as a feature of its two-factor verification:

Assign a primary device

It’s a very straightforward process and can be done by the following steps:

  • Settings > Google > Google Account
  • Click on the Security tab
  • Click 2-Step Verification and login
  • Update your recovery phone number and/or email in-case you need to recover your account

You are now on the two-factor authentication page. Here you will be able to see the list of devices connected to your Google account. Select the device you desire and choose the option of using a text message or voice call. Enter your personal phone number. Google will send you a random passcode to verify that the number is yours. Now you can turn on the two-factor verification for your Google account.

Making a Google prompt

Alternatively, you can choose to set-up Google prompt here. This allows Google to send you a notification on your phone every time you try to sign in from a new device or location.

Using a security key

Security keys are granted to consumers who register for the Google Advanced Protection program. A consumer is required to purchase two security keys; one main and an alternative for back-up.

The keys can either be acquired from Google (Titan Security Key Bundle) or third-party providers such as Yubico or Feitian. Once the keys are received, they need to be registered with the Google account. Once you enable this protection suite, all other measures are turned off. So, if you lose your key or forget it at home, there is no way to access the account.

All in all, it is highly recommended to make the most out of two-factor authentication to keep your security tight and to stay safe.



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