Google warns that it may take up to 15 minutes to go through the setup process for this, but honestly kids, it’s worth it.
The process requires two indepedent factors to authenticate your identity. In other words, when you log into your Google account, you’ll need the usual username and password, but then you’ll also need a second code in order to move forward – a process similar to the one that’s available on most banking websites.
This second code isn’t one that you’ll write down (and potentially lose) on scraps of papers or one that you’ll use again and again on multiple sites (decreasing its security). Rather, it is generated by Google, then sent as an SMS message to your phone or via an authentication app (available for Android, Blackberry or iPhone). This code will be generated for each log-in. And, in Google’s words, “when you enter this code after correctly submitting your password we’ll have a pretty good idea that the person signing in is actually you.”
You’ll have the option to have your computer remember this second verification step for 30 days, so you won’t need to re-enter that code every time you boot up your machine.