How to: se­cure your ac­count

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Front Page -

CLOUD users the world over col­lec­tively gasped re­cently when hack­ers took over an Amer­i­can jour­nal­ist’s Ama­zon, Google, Twit­ter and Ap­ple ac­counts, delet­ing his email and wip­ing his iPhone, iPad and MacBook in the process.

This dig­i­tal tragedy is turn­ing into a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, how­ever, both for com­pa­nies and users. Google, for ex­am­ple, of­fers a more se­cure way to safe­guard Gmail, that you can ap­ply to your ac­count. SET­TING IT UP Gmail users get sev­eral se­cu­rity op­tions, with the safest two-fac­tor authentication. Set it up and Google will send a PIN num­ber to a nom­i­nated mo­bile phone num­ber each time you log in to a new com­puter.

To add this se­cu­rity fea­ture, log in to your Gmail ac­count in a web browser. Click on your pro­file photo, se­lect Ac­count and Se­cu­rity. Be­side Two-Step Ver­i­fi­ca­tion, se­lect Edit. In the next menu, you en­ter a phone num­ber to re­ceive text or voice mes­sages.

You can also choose to ‘‘trust’’ cer­tain com­put­ers, so you need to en­ter a ver­i­fi­ca­tion code only ev­ery 30 days. SE­CURE OP­TIONS If you don’t want to re­ceive text mes­sages from Google, or in case your phone is out­side a cov­er­age area, you can down­load a Google Au­then­ti­ca­tor app. The app is avail­able for iOS, An­droid and Black­Berry-based phones and gen­er­ates the codes re­quired.

Al­ter­na­tively, Google pro­vides a list of authentication codes you can print and use once only. These can be used in case your phone dis­ap­pears. Google also asks for an ex­tra phone num­ber as a backup. MISS­ING APPS Un­for­tu­nately, most apps and pro­grams such as Out­look and Ap­ple Mail can’t use this twostep process. Dif­fer­ent pass­words can be set for each of these pro­grams to pre­vent a wide­spread break-in.

JEN­NIFER DUD­LEY-NI­CHOL­SON

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