In today’s world it isn’t enough to protect your accounts with just a username and password. If you’re anything like me, you probably have at least one account that you receive most of your important correspondence on (bank statements, purchases, shipping information, personal messages).
Many organizations use something known as two-factor authentication – along with the typical username/password they also use a fob that has a random number, which changes typically every 60 seconds. I’ve always wondered how great it would be to extend that protection to my GMail accounts. Well wonder no more because Google Authenticator takes care of this. The Authenticator mobile app works on the following smartphone platforms and can be found in their respective app stores:
* Android version 1.5 or later
* BlackBerry OS 4.2 – 4.7
* iPhone iOS 4 or later
For those of you who don’t have smartphones/tablets/iOS devices, you can configure Google Authenticator to work through SMS text messaging.
Setup isn’t too difficult and can be found here – http://bit.ly/hfW7x8
You initially setup what’s known as ’2-Step Verification’ from within your Google accounts page.
For those who utilize GMail/GTalk on different IM clients or authenticate to some other site or application with your Google account, you’ll be able to create application specific passwords (like for Mail.app & BeeJive on iOS devices).
Below are some screenshots of the Google Authenticator app on an iPhone. I highly recommend you check out this free offering from Google. Stay secure everybody!