By Rutu Ruparel

In an era where cyber threats are constantly evolving, securing your online presence has never been more important. Google accounts, which often hold sensitive personal and professional information, are frequent targets for hackers. One of the most effective ways to fortify your Google account is by enabling Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). This added layer of security ensures that even if your password is compromised, your account remains protected. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how to set up 2FA using an authenticator app to keep your Google account safe.

Step 1: Sign in to Your Google Account

  1. Open your web browser and go to Google Account.
  2. Enter your email and password to sign in.

Step 2: Access Security Settings

  1. Once signed in, click on your profile picture or initial in the top-right corner.
  2. Select “Manage your Google Account.”
  3. In the left-hand menu, click on “Security.”

Step 3: Set Up 2-Step Verification

  1. Under the “Signing in to Google” section, find “2-Step Verification” and click on it.
  2. Click on “Get Started” and enter your password again if prompted.

Step 4: Choose Your Verification Method

  1. Google will first prompt you to add a phone number for text message or voice call verification. Enter your phone number and choose the method you prefer.
  2. Click “Next” and enter the code sent to your phone to verify it.

Step 5: Set Up Authenticator App

  1. After verifying your phone number, you’ll see an option to set up the authenticator app. Click on “Set Up” under “Authenticator app.”
  2. Choose your device type (Android or iPhone) and click “Next.”

Step 6: Install Authenticator App

  1. If you haven’t already, install an authenticator app on your mobile device. Popular options include Google Authenticator, Authy, and Microsoft Authenticator.
  2. Open the authenticator app and select the option to add a new account. This is usually done by tapping a “+” icon or selecting “Scan barcode.”

Step 7: Scan QR Code

  1. Back on your Google Account setup page, you’ll see a QR code.
  2. Use your authenticator app to scan the QR code. This will automatically add your Google account to the app.

Step 8: Enter the Verification Code

  1. After scanning the QR code, your authenticator app will generate a 6-digit code.
  2. Enter this code on the Google Account setup page and click “Verify.”

Step 9: Backup Codes

  1. Google will provide a set of backup codes. These codes can be used if you lose access to your authenticator app.
  2. Click “Download” or “Print” to save these codes in a secure location.

Step 10: Finish Setup

  1. Once verified, click “Done” to complete the setup.
  2. Your Google account is now secured with Two-Factor Authentication using an authenticator app.

By following these steps, you will have added an extra layer of security to your Google account. Stay vigilant and enjoy a safer online experience!

Find the Spanish version here.