OCTOBER 2012: Who has time for an extra layer of security on your personal accounts? You do!
It’s fast and easy with new apps and especially Google Authenticator. Taking a few seconds to add a secret code will help safeguard against the sneaky inroads hackers use to steal your money, identity and who knows what else. Hackers will totally hate you for it, though.
So if you used to think a two-step login process was a hassle, here are three pieces of excellent news that will have you hopping for joy.
First, the really good news: you only have to complete the second step of Google’s authentication process on your computer once a month. Even the busiest frog has time for that.
Last month we told you about Mat Honan’s epic hack and how using Google’s two-factor authentication might have prevented it. Mat is a super-savvy tech guy but even he was caught with his guard down. Two-factor authentication adds another layer of security protection to your account and cloud applications everywhere are scrambling to jump on the bandwagon. Basically, you just tell Google where to send a single-use code whenever anyone tries to log into your account — your mobile phone by text or your landline by automated message. Us frogs couldn’t be happier! A safe IT pond is a happy pond.
Next, the almost-as-good news: You can use the Google Authenticator app for your Google accounts AND other desktop or mobile applications, too. DropBox, for example, WordPress and Amazon Web Services all let you use Google Authenticator to send a single-use code for login.
Windows offers a single-use code process that you use instead of your password when signing on to your account. Yahoo!’s second sign-in verification is in addition to its pre-selected sign-in seal, a technique that lets you know you’re on the real Yahoo! site and not a spoof.
The third piece of good news: You’ll feel better. Really you will. That nagging feeling that you MUST get around to protecting your identity and online accounts will go away, especially if you update your passwords at the same time. And since Google Authenticator codes expire in 30 seconds, you’ll feel like James Bond protecting the Crown Jewels, which just happen to be your own. Here’s the overview video and the simple step-by-step process. Hop on it!