Email messages contain so many private conversations, personal information, and access information to your other online accounts.  Identity theft often starts by a crook getting access to someone’s email account.  Here is a method to add an extra layer of security to your email…

To make a withdrawal from an ATM machine, you need two things – your card and your PIN.  To board an airplane, you need two things – your boarding pass and some form of ID.  Unless you provide these two items, you can’t withdraw money and you can’t board a plane.  Two forms of access are more secure than one.

Two-factor authentication or two-factor verification are the fancy tech terms that are used to describe the process where two pieces of information are required before you can access your online information.  To raise your online security posture, you should consider two-factor authentication to access sites that store your highly sensitive and confidential personal information, like bank sites and PayPal, cloud-storage sites like DropBox, and email sites.

Increasing Security on your Email

After enabling two-factor authentication on your Brewster Gmail account, the two pieces of information that you will need to provide in order to get into your email are (1) your password and (2) a randomly generated and temporary numeric code sent to your cellphone by Google.  Sound cumbersome?  Maybe, but you only have to enter a numeric code once every 30 days for each of the devices you regularly use, like your computer or tablet.

Every time you use a different computer to check your email, like another family member’s computer, or a library or hotel computer, Google will realize that the computer being used to access your email is foreign and will send you a numeric code on your cell phone.  That code must be entered before you can access your email on that family member’s computer.  This is a small hassle that you should be willing to deal with, because on the flip side, if a thief gets access to your email password, and they attempt to access your email, they will also be asked to enter a numeric code because they are using a foreign computer to access your account.  Of course, they don’t have your cell phone, so they will never see the numeric code needed to access your email and thus the thief is thwarted.  Crisis averted!!

Instructions and Tips from Google

Turn on 2-Step Verification

Common issues with 2-Step Verification

Want to give this a try, but are overwhelmed by the prospect of trying this yourself?  Stop into the IT office and we will guide you through the process.  Just remember to bring your laptop and cellphone.