Last week, Google introduced two-factor authentication to the masses. In short, this means that you can have your Gmail account protected by something you know (a password) and something you posses (e.g. a phone). With the continuous threat of phishing attacks and password reuse all-around, this is a good thing!
So two-factor authentication? The first factor you have: a password, the second factor is new. Google being Google, offers options. You can register a phone number to send you SMS or a voice articulated code. But also mobile apps (iPhone, Android) exist as is another range of options supporting 3rd party stuff connecting to your Google account.
Two-factor authentication is not new, also not to Google. But what is new is that Google took the brave step of introducing it to the masses: every day Gmail users. It shows that they are brave enough to throw it at end-users. This while end-users often flee at the first sign of complexity being thrown at them. Let’s hope we are seeing the start of a trend here.