Saturday, February 19, 2011

Google offers all users 2 step login

Google announced yesterday that it will be offering free two step logins free to any user that wants it. What Google is calling two step the security industry calls two factor. There are three factors that can be used to identify a person:

  • Something the user knows: Birthday, birthplace, 5th President of the U.S., pass code
  • Something the user has: Key, Swipe card, RFID chip
  • Something the user is: Fingerprint, Retina print, DNA
  • What Google is offering is the option to get a second factor - something you have - to the existing single factor username and password - something you know. When you sign up for the two step authentication you authorize Google to send a passcode to your cell phone. When you enter your username and password a second page will require you to enter the verification code sent to your cell phone by Google.

    This is a good thing. It makes it much more difficult to hack into Google accounts. I checked my account a few times yesterday. There was a notice that two step authentication would be coming to it soon. I'm looking forward to it.