Tomorrow will be 30 days since I started using 2-step verification with my Gmail accounts. For those that don’t know about 2-step verification basically it adds an extra layer of security to your accounts so you have to type in a username, password AND code that is sent via text message before you can login.
After 30 days I have to say I’m still a fan. Knowing my passwords may be compromised but my accounts are still safe is a very comforting feeling. Several times (5-7) during the month I found myself trying to login without my phone nearby.
My initial thought when starting the challenge was there is no way this is going to last. It seemed like everyone I spoke with had the same thoughts. I often heard, “What a waste of time,” or, “That would drive me nuts.”
Here are a few tips that helped make 2-step verification a little bit easier:
1) Download the Google Authenticator Android Application. This installed an app on my phone which would update a new verification code every 30 seconds. This saved the delay / expense / pain of having to have a text message sent each time I tried to login to an account.
2) If you use the Authenticator App mentioned above you can turn off 2-step for 30 days. This is kind of cheating but you can turn 2-step verification off on a single computer. The main point of 2-step verification is to prevent someone from gaining access to your account if they figure out your credentials. Turning off 2-step for a computer that is secured inside your residence or maybe the laptop you always carry with you does lessen the security for that computer but you maintain the security advantage for your account from anywhere else. Each time you login 2-step gives you the option to “remember verification for this computer for 30 days.” Click that option and you’re back to using your username and password only on that computer…for 30 days.
If you have any experience using 2-step verification or further tips to help those that haven’t started yet leave them in the comments. Here are our past 2-step articles (here and here) and Google’s information about 2-step.