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How to Secure Your Gmail Account with Two-Step Verification (Password + Phone)

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Your Gmail password is long and silly, difficult to guess; your every computer is protected from malware and key-loggers that could snoop on your typing that password as you log on to Gmail. Still, more protection is better and two codes better than one — especially if one can only come through your phone, right?

With two-step verification, you can set up Gmail to require a special code for login in addition to your password. The code comes through your phone and is valid for 30 seconds.

Secure Your Gmail Account with Two-Step Verification (a Password and Your Phone)

To have Gmail ask you for a remembered password and a code sent to your mobile phone to log in for enhanced security:

  • Click your name or photo in the top Gmail navigation bar.
  • Select Account from the menu that comes up.
    • If you do not see your name or photo,
    • click the Settings gear in Gmail,
    • select Settings,
    • go to the Accounts and Import tab and
    • click Other Google Account settings.
  • Go to the Security category.
  • Click Edit under 2-step verification.
  • If prompted, enter your Gmail password under Password: and click Sign in.
  • Click Set up 2-step verification.
  • If you use an Android, BlackBerry or iOS device:
    • Select your phone under Set up your phone.
    • Install the Google Authenticator app on your phone.
    • Open the Google Authenticator app.
    • Select + in the application.
    • Select Scan Barcode.
    • Click Next » in your browser.
    • Focus the QR code on the web page with the phone's camera.
    • Click Next » in your browser again.
    • Enter the code that appeared in the Google Authenticator app for the email address you just added under Code:.
    • Click Verify.
  • If you use any other phone:
    • Select Text message (SMS) or voice call under Set ujp your phone.
    • Enter your phone number under Add a mobile or landline phone number where Google can send codes..
    • Choose SMS text message if your phone can receive SMS messages or Automated voice message to have authentication codes read to you.
    • Click Send code.
    • Type the numerical Google verification code you received under Code:.
    • Click Verify.
  • Click Next » again.
  • Click Next » once more.
  • Now click Print codes to print offline verification codes that you can use to log in to your Gmail account when your phone is misplaced; keep the codes separately from the phone.
  • Make sure Yes, I have a copy of my backup verification codes. is checked after you have written down or printed the offline verification codes.
  • Click Next ».
  • Enter a backup phone number — a landline, for example, or a family member or friend's phone — under You can have codes sent to your backup phone number if your primary phone is unavailable, lost, or stolen..
  • Pick SMS text message if the phone can receive SMS messages or Automated voice message.
  • If your backup phone and friend are handy, use (Optional) Test the phone to send an authentication code to it.
  • Click Next ».
  • If you have add-ons and applications access your Gmail account:
    • Click Next ».
  • Now click Turn on 2-step verification.
  • Click OK under You are turning on 2-step verification for this account..
  • Enter your Gmail address under Email:.
  • Type your Gmail password under Password:.
  • Click Sign in.
  • Enter the verification code received under Enter code:.
  • Optionally, select Remember verification for this computer for 30 days., which will not have Gmail request new phone verification for a month.
  • Click Verify.
  • If you have add-ons and applications access your Gmail account, you may have to set up specific passwords for them:
    • Click Create passwords.
    • Set up passwords for applications that do not work with enhanced 2-step verification (such as email programs that access your Gmail account using POP or IMAP).

Disable Two-Step Gmail Verification

To turn off enhanced two-step verification for your Gmail account:

  • Go to the Google 2-step verification page.
  • If prompted, enter your Gmail password under Password: and click Sign in.
  • Click Turn off 2-step verification….
  • Now click OK.

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