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By Jess Stratton | Monday, February 10, 2014

Secure yourself when using cloud apps: Monday Productivity Pointers

Enabling 2-step authentication to Google web apps

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Here on Monday Productivity Pointers, I love to talk about cloud apps. I love using apps that you can access from anywhere—your computer, laptop, phone, or tablet. This week, we’ll discuss an important topic around cloud apps: how to secure yourself when using them. In my first video, I’ll show you how to enable two-step authentication, a more secure way of logging in, also referred to as “two-factor authentication.”

More and more cloud apps are offering two-step authentication. When you enable it, step one is to log in to the app with your user name and password as usual. You’ll then receive a text message on your phone from the cloud app itself, containing a second password. Step two is to go back into the app and enter that second password for access.

The benefit of logging in like this is that even if someone accesses your password, they still can’t get into your accounts unless they have your phone number, too. More and more cloud apps are enabling this feature as an option; if your favorites do, you should absolutely turn it on!

My second (members-only) video this week is about protecting the apps on your mobile device. Most apps that manage sensitive or private data (such as your financial data on Mint.com, or personal files and media on Dropbox) have a setting to enable a special PIN that must be entered to launch the app. I’ll show you how to set it up. Watch this week’s videos to get started, and check back next week for more Monday Productivity Pointers.

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