Google 2-Step Verification

What is 2-Step Verification?

2-Step Verification (2SV) is Google's two-factor authentication service that adds an extra layer of security to protect your Kenyon Google account. The short video below provides an overview of 2SV:

Just like Duo, 2SV secures your Google account by requiring two steps of ID verification before you can log in:

  • Something you know (your password)
  • Something you have (phone, verification code, or security key)

2SV won’t stop you from revealing your password to a phisher. (Only you can do that.) And if your password gets out, 2SV doesn’t prevent someone else from attempting to log into your account.

However, when you protect your Kenyon Google account with 2SV, no one can use your username and password (something you know) to log into your account unless they also have the second factor that you’ve enrolled with 2SV (something you have).

How 2SV Works

Once you turn on 2SV in your Kenyon Google account, you’ll still sign into Gmail (and all other Google services) using your Kenyon username and password. After that, 2SV will prompt you to provide a second means of verification in order to continue logging in.

If you’re signing into your Kenyon Google account on a computer that you control, such as a Kenyon-owned computer or a personal computer, you can check a box labeled Trust this computer; when you do so, Google won’t ask you to provide a verification step again in most circumstances. (For more information, see Google’s page on managing trusted devices.)

When you enroll with 2SV, you can select among several verification options. 

  • If you have a smartphone, a simple and secure option is to receive push notifications via the Google Prompt on your Android device or via the Google app or the Gmail app for iOS.
  • Smartphone users can also set up an Authenticator-style program (like Duo Mobile, which you may already use) to generate one-time passcodes.
  • If you don’t own a smartphone, you can have Google call your mobile phone or send you a text message for login confirmation. Employees can have Google call their office phone.
  • You can also use a USB security key. These require no batteries or power, and the same key can serve as a two-factor authentication option for hundreds of other online services. Yubico USB Security Keys are inexpensive and available at the Kenyon Bookstore and Amazon.
  • For legacy applications that do not support the options above, such as older email clients, you can use App Passwords to sign in securely.

For more information about 2SV, see our Google 2SV FAQ

Turn on Google 2SV Now

While you’re reading this, turn on 2SV now for your Kenyon Google account. It takes two minutes. Click this link, then follow the onscreen prompts to get started.

See our detailed 2SV enrollment guide for specific details about each verification option.

Timeline for 2SV Introduction

You can enroll with 2SV today. Once you do, you’ll be prompted to confirm your login attempt with 2SV every time you log into your Kenyon Google account from a new computer, web browser, or device. If you’re using a computer where you are the primary user, such as a home computer or a Kenyon-owned computer, you can tell Google to trust that computer, and you won’t be asked to enter your verification step again when you log in there.

All Kenyon employees are required to use 2SV, as are students in the class of 2023. Current upperclass students will be required to enable 2SV starting in Winter 2021.