Google Checkout Blog

Increase your account security with 2-step verification

Friday, March 04, 2011

The Google Security team recently blogged about the new advanced sign-in security feature for your Google account. We know that keeping your emails, photos and documents safe is important to your online security and peace of mind. Once you set up advanced security for your Google account to safeguard these services, the financial data in your Google Checkout account will be protected as well.

This advanced opt-in security feature is called 2-step verification, and it helps makes your Google Account including services such as Checkout significantly more secure by helping to verify that you're the real owner of your account. You can enable 2-step verification through a new link on your Account Settings page:

Once you enable 2-step verification, you'll see an extra page that prompts you for a code or an application-specific password when you sign in to your account. After entering your password, Google will call you with the code, send you an SMS message or give you the choice to generate the code for yourself using a mobile application on your Android, BlackBerry or iPhone device. Since some applications that access your Google Account (such as Gmail on your phone or Outlook) cannot ask for verification codes, you'll enter an application-specific password in place of your normal password. Most of the time, you will only have to enter an application-specific password once per application or device (soon after you turn on 2-step verification). When you enter a verification code after correctly submitting your password or you enter an application-specific password, we'll have a pretty good idea that the person signing in is actually you.

It's an extra step, but it's one that greatly improves the security of your Google Account because it requires the powerful combination of both something you know—your username and password—and something that only you should have—your phone. To learn more about 2-step verification and get started, visit the Google Accounts Help Center.