While it might seem like common sense to have an email address, the reality is a lot of people are still not using them correctly. For example, 40% of the population in the U.S. don’t know how to use email basics like checking their spam folder or opting out of unwanted emails.
Even worse, a whopping 69% of email users don’t know how to verify their address, which means that if they get hacked, their information could be at risk.
Fortunately, there’s a easy way for them to regain control of their email identities and ensure that their personal information stays secure. We’re going to walk you through the process of setting up an identity check email address for free using Google Authenticator.
Step 1: Create a New Email Address
The very first thing you need to do is create a new email address for yourself. You should do this by selecting the ‘Create an account’ option from your Gmail’s dropdown menu (shown below).
This will take you to the ‘Create an account’ screen, where you can enter a desired username and password (not shown here).
Once you’ve entered those credentials, click the ‘Sign up’ button to complete the sign up process. Then, you’ll be redirected back to your Gmail dashboard with a confirmation message.
Step 2: Check Your Email Address
Once you’ve successfully created your new email address, it’s time to check it. To do this, simply visit your Gmail menu again and click on the ‘My Account’ option. You’ll see a list of all your active inboxes. When you click on the ‘Inbox’ link (top-right corner), you’ll be brought to your inbox and you can see all your emails (as shown below).
The good thing about this step is that you don’t have to do anything. Just leave it up to Google to verify the address using automated processes.
Step 3: Set Up Google Authenticator
Now that you have a verified email address, it’s time to set up Google Authenticator. This app will help you manage the security of your account by generating unique tokens for each supported device or browser. It also has features like 2-Step Verification and a Password Alert System, which help protect your account even more. To get started, simply visit the Google Play Store and search for ‘Google Authenticator’ (you can also find the app on Apple’s App Store if you have an iOS device).
Once you’ve downloaded the app to your device, open it and click on the ‘+’ at the top right corner to see the QR code. This is an encrypted code that can be scanned and used with a One-Time Password generator (shown below) to create short-lived security codes that can be used to access your account.
Then, you’ll be asked to follow the on-screen instructions to setup Google Authenticator on the device you’re using. Once the app is set up, you can click on the Menu icon in the upper-right corner and select ‘Settings’ to see the QR code for your account. Simply enter the code you created during setup and click ‘Save.’ You can now use the app to generate a one-time password for any supported device or browser.
Step 4: Test Your New Email Address For Validity
After you’ve set up and tested Google Authenticator, it’s time to confirm the validity of your new email address. To do this, click on the ‘Settings’ icon in the upper right corner of your Twitter account’s dashboard, then select ‘Account Settings’ to reach the account’s preferences screen. On the left side of the screen, you’ll see a tab labeled ‘Account information’.
You can choose to hide your email address from your followers by selecting the ‘Never display my email in notifications’ option (at the very least, you can prevent your email from being displayed in the ‘Notifications’ area of your Twitter account).
If you’ve set the ‘Display my email in notifications’ option to ‘Only display emails with a photo attached’, you’ll start to see more and more messages from people you follow because they’ve discovered your new email address. Once you’ve seen enough messages to confirm that the address is functioning properly, click on the ‘Settings’ icon once again to return to the original dashboard.
Step 5: Complete The Settings Process
Once you’ve successfully configured your Twitter account with a security-minded email address, it’s time to finish the settings process by connecting it to your other online accounts. To do this, visit the Settings icon and select ‘Connected Accounts’ to reach the account’s preferences screen. (If you have more than one account, you’ll be presented with a screen where you can select the account you want to associate your Twitter account with).
Once you’ve selected the account you want to connect, you’ll be taken to a screen where you can enter your email address and select the authentication method you want to use to confirm your identity. Since we already verified your Twitter account, you can select ‘Authy’ from the dropdown menu (shown below).
Authy is a free 2-Step Verification app that can be used to create and verify short-lived passcodes using Google Authenticator. To create a new passcode, simply enter ‘twitpass’ in the Authy app’s dashboard (not shown here) and click on the ‘Create’ button. Then, you’ll be presented with a 4-digit pin which you can use to confirm your identity. If you lose your passcode, you can request a new one by entering ‘twitpass’ in the Authy app’s dashboard and selecting ‘I lost my passcode’ from the dropdown menu.
After you’ve connected your Twitter account to your other online accounts, it’s a good idea to delete your temporary Google Authenticator passcode. To do this, click on the ‘Settings’ icon in the upper-right corner of your Twitter account’s dashboard, then select ‘Security’ and scroll down to ‘Passwords & Security’. You’ll see a tab labeled ‘Last passcode entered’. Simply click on the ‘Delete’ button next to the passcode you want to delete.
Why is this important?
So, what’s the point of all this setting up business? Simple: having a verified email address is the key to having a more secure online experience. Even something as simple as getting a free Email Address using Google Authenticator can make a world of difference and improve your overall digital security. With that basic email setup, you can start using other Google apps like Google Chat and Google Docs without worrying about security concerns.
In the near future, we’re going to teach you some more advanced tricks like how to secure your Google Docs files using end-to-end encryption, which will make it harder for someone to access your data if they somehow get ahold of your device. But for now, email security is the most important thing. So, don’t hesitate to try out this basic setup just because it’s easy to use.