Feeds

Google brings 2-factor authentication to Gmail

1-time password zapped to mobile

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Google will allow users of Gmail and its other free online services to employ a second form of verification when logging in that uses one-time passwords transmitted over mobile or land-line phones.

The ability to use two-factor authentication, which will be rolled out over the next few days, is designed to make it considerably harder to break into Google accounts. Despite repeated admonishments, a surprising number of people use the same weak password for multiple accounts, making it easy to gain the credentials used to access sensitive emails and documents.

Google's 2-step verification lets users receive a one-time password by text message or a voice call each time they enter their password into the Gmail login panel. The additional code is required to access the account. The security measure, which goes well beyond what many banks and e-commerce sites offer, was first made available to Google Apps customers in September.

“It's an extra step, but it's one that significantly improves the security of your Google Account because it requires the powerful combination of both something you know – your our username and password – and something that only you should have – your phone,” Nishit Shah, a product manager for Google Security, wrote. “A hacker would need access to both of these factors to gain access to your account.”

The service can be set up to work with non-web apps such as mobile Gmail, desktop Picassa and POP and IMAP email clients. To turn it on, click on the “user settings” panel. Set up may take about 15 minutes. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
Carders punch holes through Staples
Investigation launched into East Coast stores
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.