Google had previously announced the new 2-step verification for Google apps users. The same is now being rolled out to all the Google account users. The 2-step verification would make your Google account more secure by verifying you are the real owner of the account that you are trying to access. You can verify your authentication by using a smartphone, or via a SMS text code that you receive similar to how you do it while making online banking transactions or even you could use a landline to verify your identity through a voice call in case you don’t have a mobile phone with you.
How To Enable 2-Step Verification In My Account?
To set up the 2-step verification, login to your Google account and navigate to the Manage Account page, and if the feature has been enabled for you, you should see a “Using 2-step verification” link under Security column in your Personal Settings.
And the whole setup should take about 15 minutes. You will see this page on the next screen:
Click on the “Set up 2-step verification” to continue and complete the setup process. It involves 3 steps: 1. Setting up your phone 2. Adding backup option when your phone is unavailable 3. Confirm your settings
If you have a smartphone, you can install Google Authenticator application from (available for Android, iPhone and BlackBerry devices).
The application generates a verification code that is required in the second step during the sign in. You can also check the “Remember verification for this computer for 3 days” option and you don’t need to re-enter the code again for the next 30 days. In case you don’t have a smartphone, you can receive the verification code through a text message or through a voice call as well. You can also generate application specific passwords to sign in to non-browser based applications that use Google account like mobile Gmail, Picasa or AdWords Editor. But all these are advanced options and might confuse you. For now you have completed the 2-step verification process and you have added more security for your Google account and lets not bother too much about the advanced settings.
[via] Official Google blog