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December « 2011 « The FORWARD project blog

Archive for December, 2011

Google enables two-factor athentication for user accounts

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

Google seems to take user security quite seriously, since today gmail accounts are commonly used as a global account among many websites.  To protect its customers (paying or not) Google has employed a two-factor authentication method in order for a user to login to its gmail account.

Two-factor authentication is not something used and has been widely used in the financial industry, seems it appears to be very effective.  Google’s scheme involves using a second password in addition to your original password when you try to login.  All you have to do is check the corresponding checkbox from your gmail account’s setting and wait for google to send you a sms with the second password or use a mobile phone application to generate one if you own an Android or iPhone.

However this password will only last a few minutes so hurry up and use it!  Indeed, this new policy (which is of course optional) will add some complexity to the login process for the user, who will need to get such a password every time he tries to login.  Alternatively, you can choose to use the two-factor authentication only once per Computer you login from.  Still this method raises some issues in cases where you do not have a mobile phone available to you, say while travelling abroad.   Google offers a workaround, pre-printed passwords, if you still need or want the option enabled and have no access to a mobile phone or smartphone.

Overall, it seems that the policy worths the extra effort from the user’s end if he desires an impenetrable account.


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