Losing your privacy and information to hackers is not as difficult as you’d want to believe. There’s a good chance you read about the hacking that exposed Yahoo and up to 500 million accounts associated with the media giant. Cyber security is one of the most important things we all overlook. Apathy and ignorance are major reasons why most of us choose to avoid proactively taking steps to ensure on online security.
More of “ourselves” is stored on our mobile devices and in the cloud. Whether you have a Google, Microsoft, Apple or Yahoo account there are things you can do to help increase your level of security.
One of those proactive steps you can take is enabling 2-factor verification.
What is 2-factor verification?
Most people only rely on one password to protect our Google account. Many times, that one password protects our banking information, personal photos, contact information and many other private and personal belongings. Even worse, that one password may be years old, or is super simple to hack because you use a birthday, loved one’s name or simply 12345678. According to PasswordRandom.com, the top three most popular passwords are – 1. password, 2. 123456, and 3. 12345678.
If your passwords are one of those three, CHANGE IT NOW!
With 2-Step Verification, if someone hacks through your password layer, he’ll still need your phone or Security Key to get into your account. When you sign into a new device, like a tablet or laptop you just bought, you will sign into your Google account, and then a unique passcode will be sent to your smartphone via text, phone call, or Google’s mobile app. You can then use that unique code one time to authenticate your login.
It’s simple. It’s so simple everyone with a Google account should be using it to keep their information safer.
Here’s how to enable 2-factor authentication
- Go to the Google 2-factor authentication sign up page here and click “get started”
- Sign into your account
- Select a phone number you want to use as your authenticator
- Select whether you want codes delivered through text or phone call
- Select “try it”
- Enter the code sent to your phone
- Then simply “turn on” two factor authentication
Easy peasy chicken squeezy! With 2-factor authentication enabled, a hack might be able to guess your password, but to access your account they will also need your cell phone. Chances of protecting your information increases exponentially with 2-factor authentication. So even if you choose to leave your password set as “password”, you’ll still be safe with your smartphone in your pocket.
If you own an iOS device, head on over to Apple’s support page here to enable 2-factor authentication.