Google’s two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your Google Account. In addition to your username and password, you'll need to enter a code that Google will send you via text or voice message upon signing in. This drastically reduces the chances of having your Google account stolen by someone else because the hackers would have to not only get your password and your username, they'd have to get a hold of your phone.
What happens if there is no network coverage in your area, and you can’t receive SMS? For these dire situations, Google provides an app called Google Authenticator that can generate verification codes on your phone, offline. While the chances of you not having a cell phone in 2012 is rare, there is still a possibility that you may leave it in the office or your friend’s place.
How to generate verification code on the PC
- Install the GAuth Authenticator extension for Google Chrome.
- Go to your Google Account 2-factor authentication settings page, and under Mobile application, click on the Blackberry link (or Android/iOS link).
- You’ll get a 16-character secret key.
- Open the GAuth Authenticator chrome app. Click on the plus sign on the top left corner and enter the secret key. Give a name to the account so that you can identify it later.
- GAuth Authenticator will generate a 6 digit verification code. Copy this code and enter on the verification page you got on step 3.
Once your “device” is verified, you’ll be able to generate verification code using GAuth Authenticator when you login to your Google account.
Google Authenticator for Java phones
The Google Authenticator app is available only for Android, iPhone, Windows Phone and BlackBerry mobile phones. If you are using an old Java based phone or even Symbian phone, checkout Google Authenticator for J2ME phones.
The process to verify your phone is the same – click on the Blackberry link (or Android/iOS link), get the 16-character code and use it to verify your device.