"How do you go about protecting your account? Do you use 2-step verification? I've tried that and it becomes annoying because I can't check emails through my iPad or iPhone. Is 2-step verification a good thing to consider?"
I think that 2-step verification is very important. What if your account is compromised, or someone figures out your password or your account is just hacked?
Well, 2-step verification makes it very impossible for that to happen because instead of just requiring a password to get into your account, now someone needs a password and an actual physical device-- which is, in this case, your cell phone-- to get into your account.
The way it works is that you go to log into your account. You use your password. And as soon as you log in, a prompt opens up asking you for a verification code. At that same instant-- in my experience, because I do have this enabled on my accounts-- is that a text message pops up on your cell phone giving you a six-digit verification number.
You then enter that into the field right there in front of you. You can say yes, trust this computer for up to 30 days. And then you proceed to log in just like normal. So it makes it very difficult for anyone to hack into your account. Even if they do get your password, they need both your password and your cell phone.
And I recommend having this setup!
Firstly log into your Google account. Make sure that you use the right Google account, that you log in with your personal Google+ profile or your Gmail address, not your Google+ page or one of your other channels. This will apply to your entire account.
So we're going to click on Get Started and Start setup, which is a big blue button. Now the first thing that you do is ‘verify my password’ and then ‘log in’. Then you're simply going to enter in a phone number that you want your security code sent to.
You can do a text message, voice call if you want Google to call you, or just a simple phone pop up screen is another option. If you get data rates or charge for SMS or calls, then the pop-up is a great solution. Next, you will need Google to send you the code. It usually only takes a minute for text or calls or you can get the pop-up and click yes instantly. Next, just let Google know you trust this device and confirm to enable this account.
And now 2-Step Verification is ON. A couple of other options here, though, real quick. Using the backup option. So if you lose your phone you can add backup numbers to your account as well as backup codes, which is for when you're having trouble getting the code on your phone and something is not working right, you can then have a couple of backup codes printed out or downloaded.
To further protect your devices check out this awesome VPN blog. VPNs are another way to give you security when you are surfing the web. If someone does manage to get hold of your password you should be warned that an unknown device has attempted to log in and the 2-factor authentication should save you from any harm done.
However, you have to ask yourself how someone managed to get hold of your password in the first place. The number one way your password is compromised is when you connect to the World Wide Web via unknown or untrusted access points.
Those access points are normally public Wi-Fi routers in public places where hackers know plenty of people will log on with devices that do not have the correct security parameters set to prevent unwanted or unknown guests on the router capturing data packets that contain password information.