Google Authenticator was updated today with the ability to turn on two-step authentication without having to scan a QR code or re-enter your password on the device. You have no more excuses for not using 2-step verification.
What is Google Authenticator?
Google Authenticator is for users enrolled in 2-step verification, a feature that adds an extra layer of security to your Google Account. In addition to your username and password, you’ll enter a code received on your phone through the Google Authenticator application or that Google will send you via text or voice message upon signing in.
Why should I use Google Authenticator 2-step verification?
You should use it because 2-step verification can significantly reduce the chances of having the personal information in your Google account stolen by someone else. Why? Because hackers would have to not only get your password and your username, they’d have to get a hold of your phone and your Google Authenticator application. Secondly, you should use it because Google has made it even easier to use…. you really have no excuse not to secure your account.
The likelihood of someone getting both your personal password and having your personal mobile device is fairly slim. The tech world really took notice of why they should use Google Authenticator after the recent misfortune of Wired writer Mat Honan. He was subjected to a devastating hacking attack that destroyed his iCloud, Twitter and Google accounts as well as locked down several of his personal devices in the process. He outlined the details very well if you’re up for a read I recommend it but the bottom line was that that he wasn’t using Google’s two-step authentication and Google Authenticator to protect his account. If he had… the hackers would not have succeeded.
Using Google Authenticator and 2-step verification only means that you’ll need to use your username and password, as well as a six digit code that cycles via the Google Authenticator application. You can tell Google to trust your computer for 30 days so that you only have to enter the code once per month on that device.
If you lose your cell phone, if the battery is dead, etc. it can be a slight pain in the butt (but worth it for the extra security!) and… Google Authenticator has your back. You’re given 10 any-time login codes that you can write down and keep with you in case of cell phone loss. And don’t worry about cell service, the Google Authenticator app works even if your cell phone doesn’t have service. Lastly, you can attach backup phone numbers when you setup Google Authenticator and start using 2-step verification… if all else fails you can have Google call your land line (or any other number you tell it… like a trusted friend) and an automated voice will read the number.
Google Authenticator works on Android, BlackBerry or iPhone/iPad. The Google Authenticator app can apply 2-step verification to other accounts like Amazon and Dropbox. It even works with the wickedly awesome password management system LastPass (which just recently added free monitors for security breaches on your online accounts!).
With todays update to the Google Authenticator application you can get extra security without even having to scan a QR code or re-enter your password on the device. If you haven’t downloaded Google Authenticator and enabled 2-step verification you need to do it today!
- Download Google Authenticator on Google Play for your Android device
- Download Google Authenticator on iTunes for your iOS device
- Download Google Authenticator via mobile web for your Blackberry
- For help installing Google Authenticator checkout Google Support
- Check out Google Support for information on Getting Started with 2-step verification
- Last but not least, I love LastPass (hit this one up and I get a referral bonus!) and you should too… so get it and then Setup LastPass to work with Google Authenticator