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Luther College Chips

In response: “Google’s 2-step Verification: Not worth the hassle”

Jesse Mulert, Technology Help Desk Lead

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On behalf of ITS, I’d like to respond to the students in last week’s edition of CHIPS that expressed frustration with the new policy to require Google 2-Step Verification on Luther email addresses.

It is unfortunate that a class was held up. Security doesn’t have to be an inconvenience. 2-Step can be quick and accessible to everyone. Many people just need other, better ways to get their codes. Authenticator apps are popular and don’t rely on cell or wifi service. Printed backups are always there in a pinch. Physical keys are great for people without phones. Enable as many alternative methods as possible. The Technology Help Desk can get you started.

The reality is that phishing has only gotten more  sophisticated and targeted. Without 2-Step, one wrong step and your personal information is available to a nefarious actor. They can login to your email and not only get at your personal information, but pretend to be you or entice you to give up passwords or download malware.

The threat is real. Compromised accounts are really weaponized accounts, and we need to remember that the other people attacked through a compromised account are also victims. A compromised account exploits and degrades trust in your community, trust in Luther, and trust in you. A compromised account threatens all the people you know, everything that has ever passed through your computer, and any system to which you have access or with which you interact.

2-Step Verification is becoming the new minimum security standard almost everywhere. You’re probably used to seeing it on bank accounts, though maybe implemented differently. Security is also one of many skills which contribute to your digital literacy. We recommend that you visit turnon2fa.com to find other services that support 2-Step.

Signed,

Jesse Mulert, Technology Help Desk Lead

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