In an effort to improve security Google has recently released a feature that allows for two-factor login authentication. The feature can easily by turned on by your account administrator. The primary goal is to improve security to prevent malicious attacks on your email account. You have probably heard horror stories of email accounts being hacked in the past. This two-step login process does a great job of improving that issue.
In terms of ease-of-use, the added security does require additional steps at login. Android, iPhone, or Blackberry users can download a native phone application called Google Authenticator that provides a 6-digit numeric key that is required when logging into your account. Most users access their email from a small number of computers so the option to ‘remember me for 30 days’ prevents you from doing this every time. If you do not happen to have your phone to provide this 6-digit pin along with your password then there is 10-backup keys that you can have printed and kept in your wallet for that very occasion. Although a good idea, the practicality here is yet to be seen…
~ My review of Google Apps 2-part Authentication ~
Is it worth the effort?
If your account contains a lot of personal information or you have been hacked in the past, you should definitely consider utilizing this security measure.
What if I access email and apps account from lots of computers?
As long as you always carry your cell phone on you (which most people do) that has Google Authenticator then you can always access your account.
If I lose my cell phone can someone access my email?
If someone has your cell phone with the intent of accessing your account then they only have 1 of the 2 required authentication tools. They would also need your password.
Am I at higher risk of attack if I don’t use 2 factor authentication?
Can I try it to see if I like it and turn it off if I want?
Yes, your account administrator can turn it on or off at any time for any user