ITS Service Desk

How To Setup 2-Step Verification

Beginning October 19th, any SNC faculty, student, or staff will be required to implement the Google 2-Step Verification solution.

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. If you're ready to set it up now, click the "Get Started" button on the following page:

| Google 2-Step Verification |

If you're not sure what it is or you need more information about it works, read on. If you've already set it up and have additional questions, check out our 2-Step Verification FAQ.

What Is It?

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.

Methods, Preferred

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 six digit verification codes to your cell phone via text message (smartphone, flip phone, any phone with text messaging). Your carrier's standard messaging rates will apply. If you cannot usually receive SMS text messages reliably, then this is probably not a good choice.

  • Phone call

    Google can call your cell or landline phone with your six digit 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 Google prompts you. And if you use a cell phone, you'll need to have a good cell signal to receive the call.

  • Google Authenticator app

    The Google Authenticator app for Android, iPhone, or BlackBerry can generate six digit verification codes. You do not need internet access to use this app.

Methods, Alternative

This is an option if you are not able to use one of the above methods.

  • Security Key

    You can insert a Security Key into your computer's USB port for even more protection. This requires that you purchase the key, and you must have the key with you when Google prompts for it.

    • For students:
      • To request a security key, send an email to and we'll provide information about what key to purchase.
    • For employees:
      • We will bill your department for the cost of the key.
      • To request a security key, send an email to to start the process.

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, allowing you to start over.

Only Affects Google

2-Step Verification only affects your Google Workspace 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.

Get started

To get started, visit this Google web page and click the "Get Started" button on the following page:

| Google 2-Step Verification |

Additional resources

Additional information about 2-Step Verification is available from Google:

Additional information about resetting 2-Step Verification

Additional 2-Step Verification FAQ

Note: This will be required for retirees and alumni at a later date

Have more questions? Submit a request