Even though I am a Mac fanboy, I readily admit that Gmail is a superior e-mail application for lawyers. One of my favorite aspects about Gmail products is that they are constantly updating and improving the application.
The latest improvement adds another layer of a security to your Gmail account. Given the importance of passwords, this is a welcome improvement and a feature worth implementing.
2-step verification system
Most web-based applications require two things to login: a username and password. With the new 2-step verification system, after you have entered that info, Google will request a verification code. The only way to get the code is through your mobile phone.
Google wil either call you with the code, text you the code, or allow you to generate a code from your mobile phone if you use an iPhone, a phone operating Android, or a BlackBerry.
If you prefer, you can have the new system kick in once every 30 days, instead of everytime you sign into your Google account. The easiest way to setup the system is to follow the directions on Google’s blog.
Why you should use it
Security is not something that should be taken lightly, especially when it comes to lawyers. Most lawyers are attached to their smartphones, so needing your smartphone to login into your e-mail should not be that burdensome. With this system, unless a hacker steals your phone, they cannot get into your Google account.
Granted, it could annoying at first. But the added level of security is worth spending ten more seconds to access your e-mail.
If you find it is just too much to handle, at least turn on the system to require a code every 30 days. If someone has hacked into your account without you noticing, this would prevent them from lurking around for more than a month.