Why and How to Setup Two-step Verification in Gmail

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I mentioned about the double verification in Gmail on the entry The Essence or Not of Internet Presence. So for this post, I’d like to share about it why and how to setup two-step verification in Gmail. But before I write about the steps needed, there are other questions which must be answered first.

Why do you need to setup two-step verification in Gmail?

While online, you never know when viruses, Trojan, spyware, and other malware may infect your browser. These can gain access to your browser’s cache (if it’s automatically stored for a specific period including your Gmail username and password. This can happen even if you have an anti-virus or internet security program. Not all malicious software can be detected. You can constantly update your software so it’s in tune with what’s new in the online virus world but it’s not a 100% guaranteed that your totally protected.

So where do you encounter these online? Just about anywhere actually. These include websites, images, videos, email particularly those with attachments, when downloading, in chat rooms, and more. If you’re using Chrome, you are at least warned about potentially harmful sites when you come across one. These are sites already reported to Google for possible problems.

All these prove that you need to setup two-step verification for your Gmail account. I for one found the need to do so one fine day. I am really cautious when it comes to online activity. My Avira Anti-Vir is always updated and I run a complete scan regularly. I also uncheck the remember password option each time I login anywhere online and assign varying passwords to differing sites I am registered to. Also, I don’t go to sites and perform activities online where there are potential threats present. 

But there are instances when I need to sign up for a site or product for research purposes, being a freelance writer. I hate creating multiple email addresses just to separate personal from business as I need to constantly check them. Having more than one makes it difficult to manage emails and I don’t want to miss any, both personal and work related.

So one fine day, my email showed a ‘last account activity’ on a different computer and unusual IP address. On basic Gmail, this info is found at the footer section. I clicked on details and found the summary of all access activities. There were at least two from overseas like Europe and the Middle East.

How to setup two-step verification in Gmail

I didn’t bother to follow the two-step verification in Gmail even when I chanced upon it one time. I only did so when something weird happened (see previous paragraph). But when I did, I chose the SMS version. This way, a text message is sent to verify my account before I can completely login. It’s time consuming I know but it’s only a few seconds compared to the security it provides for my Gmail account. Most especially since most of my transactions (including payments) are linked to it.

Aside from SMS, you can also request for a call from Gmail’s bot. I do this in case the SMS is delayed. You can also download a special list of codes you need to enter. If you choose this route, make sure to keep the codes elsewhere but never your computer files. It’s best to write in paper and keep it somewhere.

Now if you’re ready to start, just logon to your Gmail account, click on your account settings on the upper right hand corner, and look for 2-step verification. Just follow the process and you’re done. Of course, you should test and see if it works by logging out and logging back in.

How two-step verification in Gmail helps

Aside from what I’ve already mentioned earlier, I’ve seen how this method works. There were SMS sent about the verification code in numerous occasions even when I’m not logging in. Incidentally, they occur right after I’ve signed up for some website for research purposes.

So if you’re worried about the security of your Gmail account and the safety of your private data saved on it, it’s best to start using the two-step verification in Gmail soon. 
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