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Google to make Apps accounts more secure with two-factor authentication

Keeping your online accounts secure is a must, and Google will soon begin rolling out an improved authentication system to its Apps customers. Beginning with Google Apps Premier, Education, and Government users, you'll soon be able to utilize a smartphone-generated verification code as a second layer of account security.

It's a bit like the dedicated RSA SecurID fobs some enterprises use for VPN authentication. Sign in to your Google account via the usual login screen and you're then prompted to verify your account. Launch the Google Authenicator app on your smartphone and enter the code it displays to complete the sign-in process. Google Authenticator will be available for Android (image after the break), Blackberry, and iPhone users. Don't have a fancy smartphone? No problem -- Google can also call you or send an SMS message to provide you with a code.

Apps administrators can currently enable two-factor authentication in their control panels. Free apps domains will receive the feature in the coming months -- but here's hoping Google also rolls this out as an option in Gmail. My password is plenty strong, but why not add a little extra protection if it's available?

[Google Enterprise blog]

Tags: account, code, google, login, password, pin, secure, smartphone, verify