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‘What is Google Authenticator?’: How to set up Google’s two-step verification software to secure all of your Google apps

As technology has continued to advance, so has the ability of hackers to access our personal accounts and information, potentially putting us at risk of becoming victims of identity fraud or worse. Because of this, internet security has become increasingly important, and many services like Google now take extra steps to help protect consumer's private data.

Google Authenticator is an app that uses two-step verification software to keep your information safe by requiring an added layer of identification before allowing anyone to gain access to your accounts. Instead of simply entering a password when logging into Google apps via mobile, Google Authenticator generates a random six-digit code, which you're required to enter in order to log in if you have two-factor verification active.

If you'd like to use Google Authenticator to help secure your Google apps, here's how to do it.

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How to set up Google Authenticator

1. Download the Google Authenticator app from the Google Play store on your Android device or the App Store on iPhone.

2. While signed into your Google account on your PC or Mac, click on the small icon with your photo in it in the upper right-hand corner of your screen and click “Manage your Google account.”

3. Click “Security” from the menu on the left side of your screen, then scroll down to the “Signing in to Google” header.

4. Click “2-Step Verification” to turn the option on. You will then be asked to re-enter your Google account password to proceed.

Turn on 2-Step Verification.

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5. Under “Set up alternative second step,” click “Set Up” in the “Authenticator app” option.

Click “Set Up.”

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6. Choose whether you have an Android or iPhone, then click “Next.”

7. Open the Authenticator app on your mobile device and tap “Begin setup.”

Tap “Begin setup” on your mobile device.

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8. Tap “Scan barcode,” on your phone, then scan the code displayed on your computer screen.

Scan the code using your mobile device.

Jennifer Still/Business Insider

9. After scanning the code, your Authenticator app will automatically begin to display a randomized six-digit code. Click “Next” on your computer screen, then enter the six-digit code displayed in the Authenticator app on your phone.

10. Click “Done” to confirm verification.

You will now be set up with Google Authenticator and can use the app to log into your Google account moving forward.

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