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Gmail Security - Two factor authentication

The Gmail provides excellent tools for anti-spam and anti-viruses. The username and password authentication is great, and you can make this more secure using two factor authentication or 2 step verification.

Here's how to activate the 2-Step Verification using your Gmail or Google Apps email.
  • Login to your email at
  • In the upper right-corner of your browser, click on your email address, then click Account Settings.
  • Under Security, click on "Using 2-Step verification" to generate the codes.
  • For this example, I will use my iPhone, (also available for Android and BlackBerry). So in Mobile Application, click on iPhone. The next page will provide information on how to download the Google Authenticator for iPhone, done that and I am ready to go.
  • Using my iPhone Google Authenticator, click the (+) sign to add, click the Scan Barcode, and scan the code in your Gmail account.
  • In the iPhone Google Authenticator, you will see a 6-digits number to be use to verify your account. You have 60 seconds to key-in these numbers to your Gmail for verification. If successful, the email system will force you to re-login using your username, password, and now with the 6-digits number (2-step verification).
This complete your 2-step verification. Every time you log-in to your gmail account, you will enter your username, password, and 6-digits pin. The 6-digits number changes every 60 seconds.
Now you improve your authentication (email access security) accessing your Gmail through a web browser. 

How about your iPhone Gmail access? You don't need to enter the username, password, and 6-digits number in your iPhone every time you access your email through iPhone. Here's how to simplify this process.

Configure you iPhone after the 2-step verification.
  1. While still log-in to your email account. Click on your email address (upper right-corner of the screen), then Account Settings.
  2. Click on 2-step verification.
  3. In Application-specific passwords, click "manage application-specific passwords"
  4. In Step 1 of 2 generate a new application-specific password, create a name. For example, I will call this "iPhone 4S", then click on Generate Password
  5. In Step 2 of 2 enter the generated application-specific password to your Gmail setup as password. Not the password and 6-digits number. Ex. ifxe werm xxdi afal (spaces don't matter).
  6. In the iPhone, let's setup your email. Go to Settings, Mail, Contacts, Calendars, then Add Account.
  7. Select Gmail, enter your Name, Address, Password (use the generated application-specific password produced in step no.5), and Description. Click Next to continue.
  8. If successful, you will see Mail, Calendars, and Notes set to ON. Click Save to continue to add the account.
Now check your email, test send/receive to make sure.

I will also write a HOWTO guide on how to re-configure your Google Authenticator if you purchase a new iPhone phone. It will be available within this week.

Thank you.


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