How to enable two-factor authentication on your Google account for added security

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  • You can enable two-factor authentication on Google to provide an added layer of security if, for example, your password is compromised.
  • Two-factor authentication, also known as two-step verification, is an important step to take to secure your data and personal info.
  • After setting up two-factor authentication, you’ll need to tap a prompt on your phone or enter a verification code sent to your phone to sign in to your account.
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Two-factor authentication, or two-step verification, provides an additional level of security to your Google account if your password is stolen. When it’s set up, you’ll need your password and phone to sign in to your account.

Here’s how it’s done.

How to set up two-factor authentication on Google

1. Go to your Google Account.

2. In the navigation panel on the left side of the screen, click “Security.”

Google accountAbigail Abesamis Demarest/Business InsiderClick ‘Security’ from the menu on the left.

3. Scroll down to the “Signing in to Google” section, and click “2-Step Verification.”

Google account 2Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business InsiderIn the ‘Signing in to Google’ section, click on ‘2-Step Verification.’

4. Then click “Get started” and follow the on-screen instructions to set up two-factor authentication. If you’re unable to set up this feature, which may happen if your account is associated with work or school, Google recommends contacting your administrator.

How to verify Google Account sign-ins with a second step

As the name implies, you’ll need to complete a second step when signing in to your account after setting up 2-Step Verification.

1. On a computer or mobile device, you can choose either to enter a verification code texted to your phone, or to tap a prompt sent to your phone. Google recommends signing in with Google prompts for convenience and to protect against SIM swap and other phone number-based hacks.

Google account 3Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business InsiderChoose whether you want to use ‘Google prompts’ or ‘Voice or text message,’ though Google recommends the former.
  • Prompts appear in the form of push notifications on Android phones signed in to your Google Account, and on iPhones with the Gmail app or Google app signed in to your Google Account.

2. If you requested the sign-in, tap “Yes” to allow it. If you didn’t request the sign-in, tap “No” to block it. Additional verification methods that you can set up for added security include physical security keys, backup codes, and the Google Authenticator app.

Google account 4Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business InsiderTo confirm it was you trying to sign into your account, tap ‘Yes’ on the prompt.

How to skip two-factor authentication on trusted devices

Once you sign in to your Google Account on your computer, check “Don’t ask again on this computer.” Only check this box on devices you use regularly and that you don’t share with others.

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