Most of us are so much dependent on Google services: Google Search, YouTube, Google Docs, Gmail, Picasa, Analytics, Google Places, Google Apps, Checkout , Google Friend Connect , Orkut, Feedburner, Adsense, Adwords, Google Webmasters Tools etc etc to name few.
Some people who use Adsense, Adwords etc might have sensitive business data. And with Orkut and Picasa you may have your private pictures. Hence, securing it makes sense.
Google has comeup with 2-step verification, similar to that you have for your online bank accounts and shares(demat) account.
Basically, you have two steps for successfully signing into your Google Account. First, you need your regular username and password. Second step, you need to generate a verification code from your mobile application on your Android, BlackBerry or iPhone device. If you use any other device to login, then you can simply request a verification code which will be sent to your primary phone number or secondary phone(backup) number as an SMS OR you can request for a quick voice call to get the code.
Here are some screen shots which illustrate the process of setting up the security:
For activating this security:
Log into your Google Account, click on “Account Settings”.
If you choose “Remember verification for this computer for 30 days” option while logging in, you won’t need to re-enter a code for another 30 days on that computer. You can also set up one-time application-specific passwords to sign in to your account from non-browser based applications that are designed to only ask for a password, and cannot prompt for the code.
You also get 10 back up verification codes, which can be used to log in once in case you do not have access to your primary or secondary mobile number that you have connected to your Google account. So it’s advised to have a print copy of these backup verification codes and keep it safely.
All these may take 10 minutes to set up, but I think its worth it especially if you are using Google Account for storing any of your business or private information/data.