How to set up Google account 2-step verification

How to set up Google account 2-step verification

Google will now require all users to enable 2-Step Verification to protect their accounts. This means that you will have to respond to a notification on your mobile every time you try to sign in to a Gmail account or another Google service. How do I set up 2-Step Verification for Google? The process is not difficult but it does require some steps to take and some choices to make. Here’s how it works.

You can set it up on a PC or mobile device, but let’s try it on a PC for this example. First, log into your Google account page. Click the Security category on the left. In the Sign in to Google section, click the entry for two-step verification if it is currently disabled ( Figure A ).

Figure A


The next screen tells you that every time you log into your Google account, you will need your password and a verification code. Click Begin. Then log back into your Google account. The next screen should show your mobile name as registered with Google. If not, click the “Don’t see your device?” and follow the steps to add your phone.

Here you also have a couple of options on how to implement two-step verification. By default, the code will be sent to the phone via SMS or call. However, you can use a physical security key instead, which is considered more secure. Click the link for Show more options and choose your preferred method. Click Continue ( Figure B ).

Figure B


Assuming you have chosen the code option, the next screen shows your phone number and asks you how you want to receive the code: text message or phone call. Choose the option you prefer and click Submit ( Figure C ).

Figure C


Check your phone for the sent code and type the number in the field provided on the next screen. Click Next. On the next screen asking you to turn on 2-Step Verification, click the Activate button ( Figure D ).

Figure D


Two-Step Verification is now enabled. Each time you log into your account, you will be asked to verify your identity with the method you have established. On an Android phone, you will receive the code via a notification. On an iPhone, you’ll need to install and check the Google iOS app and tap Yes in response to a message asking if you’re trying to sign in.

From here, you may want to choose another backup step so you can log in if your primary method isn’t available. On your Google account website, you can choose between three backup steps: 1) A one-time backup code to use if your phone is not accessible; 2) An authentication app such as Google Authenticator; 3) A physical security key ( Figure E ).

Figure E


To use backup codes, click the Set link for that option. Google shows a series of codes to use as a backup verification. You can print and download them and get a new set of codes ( Figure F ).

Figure F


To use an authentication app, download and install the app of your choice, such as Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, Authy, or LastPass Authenticator. Click the Configure link for the authentication app. Choose your phone type: Android or iPhone. Click Next. Open the authentication app. Tap the icon to create a new login and select the Scan a QR code option. Point your phone at the code displayed on your Google account page until it is scanned. Click Next ( Figure G ).

Figure G


Enter the code displayed in the authentication app and click Verify. Then click Finish ( Figure H ).

Figure H


To use a security key, click the Configure link for that option. You can then choose a Bluetooth security key, USB security key, or the phone’s built-in security key. Select the option you prefer and make sure it is available. If you choose a physical security key, connect it to your computer. If you choose a key built into your phone, an Android device will automatically be added to your account. For an iPhone, you will need to download and install the Google Smart Lock app for iOS ( Figure I. ).

Figure I.


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