How to set up 2 factor verification for your Google Account

Two-factor authentication (also called two-step verification) is one of the best weapons you can use against digital thieves. Its easy to set up for your Google account, providing an extra layer of security to guard against unwanted access to your stuff.

How does it work?

When you sign in to your Google account it will require not only your password but a six-digit code generated through a text message or the Google Authenticator app. This way, if someone were to hack your password, they could not gain full account access unless they had your phone. So by using 2 stage verification you make it much harder for potential criminals to hack you.

Start 2-Step Verification

Tap to open your Google security settings, making sure you are signed in to the account for which you want to set this up. Do this in your browser of choice from a trusted computer, GoFone or GoTab.

Select the prompt for 2-Step Verification, then enter a phone number to receive text codes.

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If you already connected a number to your Google account it will be the default suggestion. Otherwise, you may add another number.

Then choose to receive the codes as Text Messages (SMS), or Voice call if you want to take an automated phone call every time.

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The first six-digit verification code will then arrive on your phone. Enter that number on the screen.

Next you will be asked to “trust” this computer. Select yes (if this is your main GoFone / GoTab / Computer), so you don’t have to go through the two-step process every time you access a Google service. However, if your device is a public device, used by other people, or people you dont want accessing your account, then skip this step.

Or use Google Authenticator app.

Additionally, Google makes an authenticator app for Android you can use to get codes in lieu of the text messages. This way you dont need phone signal to get the code. 

Print off backup codes

As another safeguard, Google will create a list of one-time codes that you can use in case you are without your phone. Go into your account settings and click the Print or Download button. It then generates a list of ten different eight-digit codes in a small rectangle that can be printed off and saved in a wallet.

Password and security breaches are potentially bad news, so fire up that two-factor authentication and you don’t become the next victim.