2-step verification or 2-step authentication (sometimes referred to as 2FA) is a more secure way of logging into your accounts because it requires an extra piece of information, it needs to validate something you know (your password) as well as something you have (the old SMS message to your phone).
Historically it meant having a 6 digit code sent to your phone via SMS that you have to then transcribe into your browser to prove that it’s really you…. Blah blah blah….
It’s a pain for sure, but 2FA has come a long way baby…..!
I'm going to show you how you can set up 2FA that is as simple to use as clicking a prompt on your mobile phone. No need remembering codes or extra apps….
Google now offers the ability to use your phone as the 2nd factor. You don't need extra apps or to resync when you wipe your phone.
All that happens is you use your password to YES if it's you signing in as an extra low-friction NO to deny them access.
Then click the ‘signing into Google’ link under the sign-in & security section.
Click the 2-step verification option under the Password & Sign-in method section
Read the helpful info about why this is good for you… and select Get Started
You may be prompted to enter your password in again… they have to make sure it’s you!
Your phone number should already be registered as part of setting up your Google account, if not enter it in here and click Try it
NOTE: I would highly recommend setting up a backup phone number
You will now get a code sent to your phone via the method you selected above (default is SMS), enter this code to verify you own that phone.
Once that code has been verified then you can turn on 2FA
OK, that was the hard part…. Now let's setup the simpler 2FA option, in your account settings, under Setup alternative second step choose Google Prompt
Select Get Started
If your phone can’t be detected then you will see the below phone, I had to unlock my phone and wait about 60 seconds before it recognised my phone… a little hiccup but worth it.
NOTE: If you get this screen then you may have to complete extra steps on your mobile phone to log in to your account again, you might get some prompts or alerts in the system notification panel up the top (Android).
Click the option 4 link to try again.
Once your phone is detected then you will see this screen so click Next
Your phone will lock and you will see a notification on your lock screen, unlock your phone and select YES to approve the login
YIPEE! You’re all setup. Now when you log into a browser that is unknown you will be asked to check your phone, click YES and you're all done.
If someone else is trying to access your account you will get a prompt too… just click NO and they will be blocked. Simples.