How do you use a smartphone for two-step verification to log in to your Google accounts?


I've heard about Google offering a two-step verification process for log-in. Perhaps I'm being paranoid, but it seems as if there is a significant data breach every few days, and I want to find the right balance of security and convenience, and the security part of that equation has been growing in importance to me. Has anyone used this log-in method? If so, how much of a hassle is it to use, and is it worthwhile in the end?

Topic: Security
Answer this Question


2 total
Vote Up (12)

Hi ernard,

Here are some instructions on how to turn on two step verification using smartphones. These instructions cover Android, iOS and Blackberry devices. It also shows you how to set it up for multiple Google accounts.

"If you want to turn on 2-step verification and own a smartphone, we recommend you use the Google Authenticator app -- a mobile application available on Android devices, iPhones, and BlackBerry devices -- to generate verification codes. The application doesn't require an Internet connection, mobile service, or a data plan to generate verification codes."

Vote Up (11)


You have to enable the two-step verification.  There is an app called Authenticator that you must install on your smartphone.  When you want to log in, google will send a 6 digit verification code to your phone.  The code is only valid for 30 seconds or so, so the window is pretty small for log-in.  You enter the code in addition to your normal log-in password, and you are then granted access.  It works ok, but frankly I find it a bit of a bother.  I think that using a strong password along with that password being limited to your google account is an easier alternative, but it is obviously not as secure as a two step process.  Still, a strong password should discourage most of the average miscreants trying to break into your account.  I suggest using one of the password evaluation sites to make sure it is strong, though.  


Google was recently testing out a cool 2 step verification process that only required you to scan an online QR code, but apparently that is still in testing.  I would love to see it become the standard.  It would be much more convenient.


Ask a question

Join Now or Sign In to ask a question.
Apple outlined its new privacy policy and set up a site to explain what information it collects from users and how it handles it, as the company enters new areas like health tracking and mobile payments that have potential privacy implications.
The developers of a type of malicious software that encrypts a computer's files and demands a ransom have fixed an error security experts said allowed files to be recovered without paying.
The U.S. Defense Department plans to tighten reporting of cyber incidents against transportation contractors after the military found it was mostly left in the dark about successful attacks from China, according to a Senate report.
With new funding, the Israeli company opens U.S. offices.
With the release of its new mobile operating system on Wednesday, Apple has become the first smartphone maker to enable by default a kill switch that can lock and secure a stolen phone.
Information security isn't a luxury these days. It's a necessity.
Auth0, a provider of identity services that developers can build into their apps, scored a $2.4 million investment.
Twitter's recently announced bug bounty program has helped the company identify and patch a serious vulnerability that could have potentially disrupted advertising on its platform.
After a one-week delay, Adobe Systems has released security updates for its Reader and Acrobat products to patch critical vulnerabilities that could lead to computers being compromised.
Yelp has agreed to pay US$450,000 to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to settle charges that the company accepted registrations to its services from children under 13 through its apps.