Google 2-Step Verification

Frequently Asked Questions



What is 2-Step Verification?

2-Step Verification is an additional security measure on your Google account. In addition to your password, you'll also need a one-time code to log in to your account.


How does it work?

Logging in the first time will work a little differently. As you do currently, you will log in to Google with your username, and type in your password. Then, a code will be sent to your mobile phone via text message, voice, or the Gmail app.  Once you enter the code, you will be able to complete the log in process.


Will I need to enter a code every time I log in?

No, with the option "Don't ask again on this computer,” you will not be prompted for a verification code every time; just occasionally. However, if you clear your browsing history or use a new browser on your computer, you will be prompted to enter a verification code. A new code will then be sent to your mobile phone via text message, voice, or the Gmail app.


Why do we need it?

There are many ways attackers can steal your password. Using the same password on multiple sites, phishing attacks, and malware are just a few. With 2-Step Verification, the attacker would also need your one-time code, which is much harder to obtain since the code is only sent to your mobile phone. While 2-Step Verification will protect your Southeastern Google account today, soon it will also protect other systems such as Moodle and Workday.


Sounds great. How do I enable 2-step verification?

Simply visit and log in with your account. Click 2-Step Verification and follow the instructions.

What should I choose for the second step?

We recommend one of the three options below:

  • If you already use the Gmail app on your iOS or Android phone, choose Google Prompt. When you log in, the Gmail app on your phone will show a prompt and you simply tap Yes. This option is simpler as you don't need to type in a 6-digit code.
  • If you don't use apps on your phone, choose text message. You will receive a 6-digit verification code via text message.
  • If your phone isn't SMS capable, choose voice message. You will receive the 6-digit verification via an automated phone call. 


What if I lose or break my phone?

In addition to your phone, you can set up alternate second steps that can be used in case you lose your phone. Setting up alternate steps is highly recommended.

  • Add a step for voice message, and use your Southeastern office phone number. 
  • Use Backup Codes. You will see 10 one-time use codes. Print the codes and store them in a safe place, such as in your purse/wallet or locked in your desk drawer.

We recommend setting up both of the above options. If you then lose your phone, you can receive a verification code on your office phone, or use one of the backup codes to get back into your account. If neither of the alternate options are available, you can call the helpdesk at 985-549-2700 for assistance getting back into your account.


What if I get a new phone number?

BEFORE you change your phone number, you will need to obtain backup codes to regain access to your account.  Backup codes are located in the google settings under the 2 factor settings.  Print them out and keep them in a safe place.

Visit, click the expansion arrow to the right of “2-Step Verification”,  and then log in with your account. 


Inside the 2-Step Verification section you will see an option for backup codes, as well as an option to update your phone number.  Click the expansion arrow on the right to view and print your backup codes.

 backup codes 1

After regaining access to your mail by using a backup code, you must now update 2-factor authentication with the new phone number. 



Is this mandatory for everyone at Southeastern?

2-Step Verification will be fully deployed soon and it will be mandatory at that time. Each time you log in, you'll see a reminder to enroll. After the deployment date, you will not be able to log in to your Google account if you have not enrolled in 2-Step.


Will changing my cell phone number cause a problem?

Changing your phone number will prevent you from receiving a 2FA verification code.  Be sure to update your phone number in the Gmail security settings and/or use the backup code option to prevent from being locked out of your account.


Where can I obtain more information about this?

Google has lots of information available at If you have any other questions, please contact the helpdesk at 985-549-2700 or studenthelpdesk@southeastern. edu.