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Gmail verificationNearly six months after first introducing two-step verification for its Gmail service, Google has expanded the security feature to users outside the English-speaking world, opening it up to people in more than 150 countries.

The company said on Thursday that it has enabled the two-step verification process for users around the world in more than 40 languages. The enhanced Gmail authentication method involves users entering a username and password and then going through a short process to set up a system so that they can receive one-time verification codes via SMS from Google. Users also can use an app for their smartphones that will generate the codes for them.

“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. When you enter this code after correctly submitting
your password we’ll have a pretty good idea that the person signing in
is actually you,” the company said in its initial announcement of the process back in February.

Until now, the system only had been available to Gmail users in English-speaking countries. Now, users in dozens of other countries will have access to the extra security.

“People have told us how much they like the feature, which is why we’re
thrilled to offer 2-step verification in 40 languages and in more than
150 countries. There’s never been a better time to set it up: Examples
in the news of password theft and data breaches constantly remind us to
stay on our toes and take advantage of tools to properly secure our
valuable online information. Email, social networking and other online
accounts still get compromised today, but 2-step verification cuts those
risks significantly,” Nishit Shah, a product manager for Google security, said in a blog post.

The set-up process takes a few minutes, but afterward only involves entering the extra code at log-in.

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Categories: Data Breaches, Social Engineering, Vulnerabilities