Security: some good news

Imagine for a second if someone got hold of your Google password. What would they get access to? Your email? Your web history? You ever use Google Checkout? Then they'd get your credit card details too.

Google has become so big it's created a security risk. And, to the company's credit, it's realised this and done something about it. It's added an optional new feature for 'two-step authorisation'.

The way it works is this. When you need to log into your Google account, you enter your password as normal. But in addition, you need to enter a second password that's generated by a dedicated iPhone or Android app or sent to you by Google in a text message. That password only lasts a few minutes so you need to generate it each time you log in.

This might sound like a little too much security. But there's a middle option: you can tell Google to require the second password only when you sign on from a new computer or phone for the first time. That way, you can do what you normally do, but if someone gets hold of your password they're unlikely to be able to log in with it - unless they've nicked your laptop as well...

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