Adding 2-Step Verification to your Google account makes it more secure and much more difficult for someone to break in. Even if someone was able to get your password, they still couldn't get in.
With 2-Step Verification turned on, when you login to your Google account on a new device, you would enter your password as you always do, this is the first step. The new, second step is that Google will contact you via another method to verify that it's you, for example, they can send you a text message. This serves as an extra layer of security, so that if someone does get a hold of your password, they won't be able to login.
There are a number of methods available to handle that second step. The method that is best for you just depends on what capabilities you have access to. You can use one or more of these possible methods:
- Text message
Google can send verification codes to your cell phone via text message. Your carrier's standard messaging rates may apply.
- Phone call
Google can call your cell or landline phone with your verification code.
- Google Authenticator app
The Google Authenticator app for Android, iPhone, or BlackBerry can generate verification codes. It even works when your device has no phone or data connectivity.
- Security key
You can insert a Security Key into your computer's USB port for even more protection against phishing.
- Backup codes
You can print or download one-time use backup codes for times when your phones are unavailable, such as when you travel.
Register your computers
After providing the second step of verification, Google will offer to "remember this device". The next time you login on that device, Google will know that it's a trusted device and will not prompt for the second step.
Review your settings
You can view your 2-Step Verification settings at any time. From that page, you can remove any of the second steps that you previously setup. You can also revoke access for trusted devices, which will force Google to prompt for the second step again the next time you use it.
2-Step Verification only affects your Google account (Gmail, Calendar, Drive, etc). It does not apply when logging into other college services like the web site, KnightLine, computers, etc.
Additional information about 2-Step Verification is available via these Google articles: