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Google Two Factor Authentication

11 Aug 2012

Credit card companies are paranoid. It’s part of the industry culture - as it should be. You want them to be extremely protective of your credit card information. After working at one such company for six years it starts to rub off on you.

Sometime ago I started using 1Password and I did a few other things to protect our computers. Since that time, I’ve added

After Mat Honan was hacked, I added Google two-factor authentication to my account, something you’ve surely read about if you’ve been keeping up with the story.

It is really easy to setup (just do it now) and it is another layer of security on top of everything else. Whenever you access Google from another machine, it asks for your password, and it also texts/calls you with a security code that you must enter. Once the machine is authorized, you don’t have to do this again.

Turning on Two-factor auth gives you another neat feature. I’ve given access to many applications so that they could use my Google account. I’ve lost count of them all and I cannot really be sure what has access or not. Two-Factor auth has a neat feature called Application Specific passwords. It lets you give custom throw away passwords to any app or website that wants access to your Google stuff. Don’t use that product anymore? Just login to Google and revoke the access. There’s a nice listing of everything that’s using Google.

If someone really wants to get into your system, they probably can. I know this and I am pretty sure I could get hacked by anyone with the skills and if they cared to do so. Here’s the good part: Just make sure you’re more secure than the people around you. If a criminal wants in, she’ll pick the easy target over the hard target all things being equal. If you’ve setup things like I have, then they are going to have a harder time than someone using “Password” for their password.

1Password Login Screen