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 really you. For example, they can send you a code via text message and have you enter that code while logging in. 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.
Important: Please re-read that paragraph above. It's very important to understand that with 2-step verification, you absolutely must have that second step available in order to get access to your account. So, if Google sends you a text message to verify that it's you, and you don't have your phone, then you won't be able to login to your account. That's how it's supposed to work. Imagine if some hacker gets a hold of your password and they try to login as you; they won't be able to get into your account because they can't complete that second step.
The next section explains the options for the second step. Be sure to choose this step carefully, so that you'll always have access to your account, while hackers won't.
There are a number of methods available to handle the new 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 (smartphone, flip phone, any phone with text messaging). Your carrier's standard messaging rates may apply.
- Phone call
Google can call your cell or landline phone with your verification code. The landline could be your home phone or your office phone, whatever is most convenient. Just realize that if you use a landline, you'll need to be near that phone when logging into a new device.
- Google Authenticator app
The Google Authenticator app for Android, iPhone, or BlackBerry can generate verification codes. It even works when your device has no cell signal or data connectivity.
These are some additional methods that we don't recommend. But we include them here because Google support them.
- Security key
You can insert a Security Key into your computer's USB port for even more protection against phishing. This requires that you purchase the key, and you must carry the key with you everywhere.
- Backup codes
You can create one-time use backup codes for times when your phones are unavailable, such as when you travel. This requires that you print the codes, and you must carry that sheet with you everywhere.
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. However, Google will still occasionally ask you to re-verify your identity even on devices that you use regularly.
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.
Only Affects Google
2-Step Verification only affects your G Suite account (Gmail, Calendar, Drive, etc). It does not apply when logging into other college services like the web site, KnightLine, computers, etc.
It's important to know that your chosen second step must be convenient for you. So, for example, if you choose text messages for your second step and Google prompts you for that verification and you do not have your phone with you, then you won't be able to login. Please know that this is the intended purpose of the verification. If someone logs in with your password but can't perform that 2nd step, we don't want them to be able to get in.
Additional information about 2-Step Verification is available via these Google articles: