Google has instituted an opt-in 2-step verification process that could protect your Google account even if someone gets your password. Here’s the nutshell on how it works:

  1. You sign up for Google 2-step verification.
  2. Every time you sign in to your Google account from a device (computer, iPhone, etc.) for the first time after signing up for 2-SV, Google will send a code to your cell phone. Enter the code where you’re signing in, and you’re good for at least 30 days on that device.
  3. Now if someone hacks your Google account and tries to sign in from an unauthorized computer, they can’t (unless you were so unlucky that they stope your phone at the same time!). Plus you’ll know someone is trying to break into your account because you’ll get an authorization code text message on your phone.

Google has plenty of nifty backup options as well for this. You get a set of “break glass in case of emergency” codes you can print out and keep in your wallet. You can also designate a backup phone to receive your login code should you lose your primary phone.

To set up Google 2-Step Verification, go to your Google account page and look for the “Using 2-step verification” link under Personal Settings. To get more details about Google 2-Step Verification, visit this Google help page.

Photo credit: Luke Higgott on Flickr. Used through a Creative Commons license.