Google 2-Step Verification

What is Google 2-Step Verification (G2SV)?

Google 2-Step Verification is a two-step authentication service that provides a second layer of protection to increase security of passwords and password-protected data, network application data, intellectual property, and user accounts of faculty, staff, and students.

Enabling Google 2-Step is the single-most effective measure towards protecting your WFU Google account.

You sign in with something you know (your password) and something you have (a code sent to your phone, printed backup codes, or a security key).

More information can be found in the Google 2-Step Verification FAQ.

2-Step Verification Requirement

After careful consideration and substantial discussion with campus technology advisory committees, the university requires all faculty, staff, students enroll in Google 2-Step Verification on their university account.

New faculty, staff, and students are required to enroll in Google 2-Step Verification within 30 days of account activation. This security measure brings us in line with many of our peer institutions.

2-step required notification

Easily log in with 2-Step Verification

Using 2-Step Verification does not have to be difficult or time consuming. Several login options are available after you enter your password:

  • Google Prompt app – the easiest method to log in. Google Prompt will prompt the user with a “Trying to sign in?” notification. Simply select “Yes” or “No.”
  • Google Authenticator app – the Authenticator app works even if a user is offline and doesn’t have cell service. The app continuously generates new codes that you can use to log in.
  • Text Message – a user receives a text message with a temporary code used to log in. This method is dependent on having cell service.
  • Backup Codes – print a list of “one-time use” backups codes.
  • Security Key – users that don’t have or don’t want to use a phone can leave a USB security key inserted in their computer. 2-Step Verification will authenticate as long at the USB key is present.

Learn all about G2SV in this helpful video:


00:00 – Introduction
01:00 – What 2-Step looks like in action
01:23 – Setting up 2-Step Verification
02:58 – Google Prompt – recommended!
03:35 – Backup Codes
03:58 – Authenticator App (multiple/guest accounts) – no WiFi required
04:33 – Backup Phone
04:47 – Security Keys

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Last modified: April 27, 2018