90% of Gmail users don't use this simple trick to protect their accounts

  22 January 2018    Read: 1477
90% of Gmail users don't use this simple trick to protect their accounts

With around 1.2 billion active users every month, Gmail is one of the most popular email services on the planet. For many of those users, that Gmail account is their primary -- and often only -- email account. And it's linked to dozens or even hundreds of their most important online accounts.

Facebook. Online banking. All the online stores they frequent. They're all pointing back to a Gmail account. And yet only just 1 in 10 users is using one of Gmail's best defenses against hackers. It's called two-step verification, or 2SV, and it makes it very difficult for a cybercriminal to break into your Gmail account.

Here's how it works. When you enable 2SV in Gmail, it will no longer let you sign in with just your email address and password. It will prompt you for a special one-time use code. Google can send it to you in a text message, call you and read it to you, or you can use the Google Authenticator app to securely generate one yourself on your phone or tablet.


Even fell victim to a phishing attack and a hacker did get their hands on your Gmail password, that person would also have to steal the phone or tablet you run Authenticator on, or hijack your phone's SIM card and intercept your calls and text messages (which happens, though it's fairly uncommon). Without a way to complete that second step, an attacker can't gain access to your inbox.

Enabling two-step verification is one of the best ways you can protect yourself. It's incredibly easy to set up and only takes a minute or two to do. Google will even walk you through the entire process.

So why aren't more people doing it? The most commonly cited reasons are that it's too hard to set up. Some worry about potential privacy issues. In 2018, however, there's no longer a good reason to leave two-step verification turned off.

You've been reading about new breaches day in and day out for several years now. One simple way to make sure you stay safe when those breaches happen? Turn on two-step verification.

The original article was published in Forbes.

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