I am a big proponent of cloud functionality. The ability to keep your documents and files in the cloud and access them from everywhere is extremely appealing. One of the concerns is ongoing security, though.
On a daily basis I use the cloud to:
- Store my latest book
- Backup all my files
- Keep all my photos
Each one of these is protected by its own process, but I really rely on Google’s Two Step Authentication for most of them.
What is Google’s Two Step Authentication
Google is pretty smart as a company goes, so when they announced two step authentication I jumped on it. It combines your normal password with a pin generated by your phone to allow access on new devices you use. For instance, if I jump on a new PC and go to Gmail I am prompted for my password, but all a six number pin. The pin is generated from an app available on most phone platforms and allows instant access. You can allow 30 day access, so you don’t have to enter a pin each time.
There are times where your password is used outside of Google’s ecosystem. A great example is when we connected a new DVD player to the internet. To access YouTube on the DVD player I had to generate an application specific password that replaced my normal Google password. No pin was needed.
This isn’t new technology as I was using a hardware device to generate pins for corporate VPN access, but it is new by pairing the mobile phone and PC technology.