For most of us, our email accounts are full of personal, sensitive information and loss of email account either due to some hack attempt or losing a password can result in loss of too valuable information along with possibility of hacked account being used for sending spam or phishing activities.

I keep saying that I love Gmail for its innovative features which keeps on coming every now and then. Here comes another great feature and most important one for security of your Gmail or Google account. An advanced opt-in security feature called 2-step verification that makes your Google Account significantly more secure by helping to verify that you’re the real owner of your account.

This 2 step process just works like your Banking passwords work i.e. your password, plus a code obtained using your phone for accessing your Google or gmail account. This adds an extra layer of security to your Account by requiring you to have access to your phone when you sign in.

To enable this 2-step verification, browse to Account Settings page that looks like this and click on “Using 2-step verification”. You can also create a backup phone or even a backup code while the setup in case you lose your phone.

You need to set it up first time so that  you can use the new feature using your phone.

Take your time to carefully set up 2-step verification—we expect it may take up to 15 minutes to enroll. A user-friendly set-up wizard will guide you through the process, including setting up a backup phone and creating backup codes in case you lose access to your primary phone.

Once you enable 2-step verification, you’ll see an extra page that prompts you for a code when you sign in to your account. After entering your password, Google will call you with the code, send you an SMS message or give you the choice to generate the code for yourself using a mobile application on your Android, BlackBerry or iPhone device. The choice is up to you.

Soon after you turn on 2-step verification, non-browser applications and devices that use your Google Account (such as Gmail on your phone or Outlook), will stop working.

You’ll then have to sign in using your username and a special password you generate for this application. (Don’t worry, you’ll only have to do this once for each device or application.)

This feature is being rolled out to everyone slowly, so some of you may see that its still not enabled on your account.

I would advise everyone who uses Gmail or google account to activate this feature as it will make it almost impossible to hack your account.

Via: [ Official Google blog & Google Accounts Help]