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Two-step authentication to secure E-mail, Facebook and more

When email and social networking profiles are getting hacked and cracked – here comes another security feature where you must authenticate twice before you can log in. Banks have had this feature since long time and Now Google, Facebook, Twitter and many other websites will bring this to you very soon. Get ready!

Google announced yesterday on their official blog about this new two-step authentication available for Premier Google App users to start with. Soon, this feature will be available for Standard edition users and many other Gmail users.

How does it work?

Two-step verification is pretty easy to use. If you have used it before with bank accounts, you already know how to do it using a mobile phone.

  1. Sign-in with username & password
  2. The website will prompt to enter a verification code
  3. You receive a verification code as a text message on mobile phone
  4. You enter this code on a website & log in.
Two-step authentication to secure E-mail, Facebook and more
(Above image is how a text message may look like in two-step authentication.)

How to stop two-step verification

Well, two-step authentication is for better security and it is recommended that you don’t skip or stop this even if you have an option to do so. Some website might give an option to skip two-step authentication on a particular device – may be a laptop. Choose this wisely if you want to ensure the account security.

I am already using it for my Axis Bank account.

How will it work without a mobile network or without a mobile phone

Banks use two-step authentication using mobile phones, a special device or by locking access from one single computer.

But in case of email or social networking, we’re going to use their websites more often than the bank website.Hence, having a device does not fit in to any logistics.

Now to fix an issue for people those do not own a mobile phone or if not getting mobile network signals to receive a text message – all these websites will build an alternative application to use on iPhone, Android, BlackBerry as well as a Web App based on your account only, which can be used on desktops and laptops to generate this new verification code.

Any such information should be available on websites providing this security feature.

Notes

This is very interesting idea Google announced and I am sure, more websites will follow their foot-prints very soon. Two-step authentication will make sure that your account is secured even if someone has stolen your password or tried to log-in behind you.

Google is also going to open-source their authentication app so that other companies can customize and use it as required.

My super +1 to Google 🙂 If you’re using a Premier Edition of Google Apps and have activated this feature then do let me know.

Update: Two-step authentication available across Google Accounts

Google has made available two-step authentication for all the Google accounts including Gmail. To activate it, simply go to your Google Account settings page and activate 2-step authentication