Use Google? Do you also use a smartphone with iOS or Android? Chances are you answered yes to both.

Many of us rely on our smartphones for just about everything. We are growing more dependent on the cloud with each day. We store our personal information from contacts to photos in our Google or Gmail accounts. Some of us even use things like Google Drive to conduct business matters, making us even more dependent on the cloud.

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While we grow more dependent on the cloud, there are evil people trying to steal our information for their personal gains. Yet many of us still use passwords that we haven’t changed in years. We’re just waiting for the inevitable to happen – stolen identity. There are services that you can subscribe to that will help you keep your information safe, but nothing is 100% secure. That requires actual effort – you have to sign up for the service, pay for it, etc.

Imagine losing access to your account and everything in it

When a bad guy steals your password, they could lock you out of your account, and then do some of the following:

  • Go through – or even delete – all of your emails, contacts, photos, etc.
  • Pretend to be you and send unwanted or harmful emails to your contacts
  • Use your account to reset the passwords for your other accounts (banking, shopping, etc.)

Yet there is one major layer of security that all of you should be using now, 2-Step Verification for your Google or Gmail accounts.

What is 2-Step Verification?

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2-Step Verification is an extra layer of security to keep your information safe.

It prevents hackers from signing into your account by sending a unique code to your smartphone. If you don’t have your fingerprint protected smartphone, you cannot sign into your account which keeps your information safe.

Set up 2-Step Verification

  1. Go to the 2-Step Verification page. You might have to sign in to your Google Account.
  2. In the “2-Step Verification” box on the right, select Start setup.
  3. Follow the step-by-step setup process.

Once you’re finished, you’ll be taken to the 2-Step Verification settings page. Review your settings and add backup phone numbers. The next time you sign in, you’ll receive a text message with a verification code. You also have the option of using a Security Key for 2-Step Verification.

Signing in to your account will work a little differently

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  • Delivered to your phone or generated by the Google Authenticator App.
  • Six to eight digits (Example: 012345)
  • You don’t have to remember it, because you can get a new verification code each time you need one.
  • You’ll need it every time you sign in unless you’ve marked a computer as “trusted”
  • Generate backup codes ahead of time and print them out, so you can use them as a backup if you don’t have access to your phone
  • If you own an Android device, you can also generate codes through Google Settings, even if your device is offline.

Keep sign-in simple

During sign-in, you can choose not to use 2-Step Verification again on . From then on, that computer will only ask for your password when you sign in.

You’ll still be covered, because when you or anyone else tries to sign in to your account from , 2-Step Verification will be required.

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Don’t wait for the inevitable to happen. Add an extra layer of protection with Google’s 2-Step Verification.

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