Hide Your Kids, Hide Your Email

Not to megaphone next to that drum that Jim Fallows has been beating, but everyone really should turn on two-step verification for email. I actually did this back when Jim wrote about his wife's account getting hacked, but I cut the verification off because I couldn't get mail on my phone. 


Apparently I just needed to learn to read:

There are some situations in which the hardware's or software's setup means that you can't enter both your normal Gmail password and the special 2-step code. For instance: email on most smartphones, or on an iPad. Or for programs like Thunderbird or Sparrow. 

For these situations, you generate a special kind of password, on a page Google provides for this purpose. It's 16 characters long; it looks like nonsense; and it is something like kxgi jikg avfi dwqi. You copy down this password, and then you enter it -- once -- in place of your normal Gmail password for your smartphone, iPad, etc. 

From that point on, Gmail recognizes this as a special kind of password, signifying that you're in the 2-step system. If you lost your phone or iPad, someone could get into your email. But, again, you would know that you'd lost that device. And you could go to the Gmail setting page and de-authorize the password you had approved before. Result: as long as you had your iPad or smart phone, you could get into your mail with no hassle. But if they were stolen, you keep keep others from prowling around.

You can see how this works here. I highly advise you to do it. Don't be the next contestent on that Summerjam screen.
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Technology

From This Author

Just In