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Two Factor Auth

Using two factor authentication with your Google accounts is recommended. Devices are lost or stolen and malware key-loggers can nab your password. I always use it on every device.

Here is how to set it up.

I have a phone with Android 4 ICS installed. I have three Google Accounts that are each a little different. 

First I'll start with my primary account, which is the account that was used to initially set up the phone. It's a Google domain account rather than a Gmail account.

Here is a short video and links to set it up. There are two methods that you can use. The first is SMS Text Messaging and the second is installing an app called Google Authenticator. I like using the app because it will work even if the cell network is down. But first, set it up to use SMS.

  1. Install the Google Authenticator App from Google Play (Formerly the Market) 
  2. Sign in to your Google Account and go to the 2-step verification settings page. Click on setup and follow the instructions.
  3. If you have a device already configured (even if its the same device) delete it. Set things up to use SMS FIRST.
  4. Make sure you do three things here. They are critically important. 
    1. Set up a backup phone number. I use a land line.
    2. PRINT YOUR BACKUP CODES!
    3. Make sure you have a backup email account that is NOT Google.

That is it for the first account. Now we should test.

  • On the Phone
    • Try a couple of Google apps like Gmail, Google+ and Drive.  
    • You will eventually get a sign-in error from Google. 
    • It says you have to log into the Web to continue, so do it.
    • You will get a text message from Google with a verification string. Put that number in.
    • Keep testing and then power the phone down.
    • Test all your apps again and look into Settings>Accounts and Sync to make sure everything is syncing properly.
  • On your workstation
    • Now, reboot your workstation.
    • Test several Google Apps.
    • Make sure your Chrome browser is syncing.
      • Only encrypt passwords. Things won't work if you encrypt everything.
Once you know everything is working it's time to Install Google Authenticator
  • Click on your device (Android)
  • Install Bar Code Scanner from Google Play and let it take a picture of the code on the 2-step verification page
  • Put the code into the webpage on your workstation
  • Test, Test and Test again.
  • Please- Make sure you have a copy of your backup codes and have an backup phone configured. You'll see why in a minute. 
Once you are satisfied your primary Google Account is working on your phone and on you workstation you can start adding other accounts.

My next account is my Gmail account.

  1. On the workstation
    1. Try to log on to Gmail.
      1. It will ask for a verification code, but you don't have one!
    2. Click Don't have your phone
    3. It will give you a verification code.
      1. It will remind you to have several backups
    4. Once your into Gmail go into your accounts settings and edit 2 step authorization.
    5. Remove your device (Android)
    6. Click on the Device (Android) Mobile Application
  2. On the Phone
    1. Use the phones barcode scanner and put the verification code into the web site.
    2. Test by adding the account to all the phones app like Google Drive and Gmail
    3. You will be asked for a verification code 
  3. Test you workstation by stopping the Chrome browser and trying your Google applications.

If you have made it this far addition accounts will be easy!

My last account is my work account. I had 2 step authorization off before this reconfigure so I don't anticipate Google calling my backup phone.

  • Try logging onto you Gmail account 
    • if it doesn't work use the process above.
  • Go to Settings>Accounts>Google Account Settings
  • Edit 2-Step Verification 
    • Remove previous Mobile Devices
    • Add the Device
    • Use The Barcode App to configure it.
  • Test Gmail and Google Drive on the phone and the workstation.

OK At this point you should have your workstation and your phone working properly. Your phone is your main authentication device with backups on a land line, printed verification codes, and a email address outside of Google configured.

Next is your other devices. I have three other devices.

  • A work Ubuntu Laptop
    • Open Chrome Browser
    • Go to your primary Gmail. You will need to use a verification code from your phone.
    • Reconfigure Chrome sync. You will need an Application Specific Password.
    • Try your other Google accounts, you will be asked for a verification code.
  • A work Windows XP Laptop
    • Do the same thing as Ubuntu
  • A Motorola Xoom
    • I had an authentication error for each account. I logged into each account and provided the verification codes.
    • Start Chrome browser on the phone and log into each account.


DONE!