You have frequently advised readers to set up two-step verification to protect the security of their email system. We’d like to do this, but we live in a mobile blackspot, and can’t access calls or texts at home. What can we do? SD, Maidenhead, Berks
You are absolutely right to set this up, and we would strongly urge other readers to follow your lead.
Two-step verification protects against hacking as it requires the user to input a code every time they log into their email on a computer they haven’t used previously.
Most email systems use the mobile phone networks to send the verification code by text. Only once you have entered it can you access your emails. It will halt most scammers from taking over your account. You only have to do this once on that computer but it may have to be updated every 30 days, if at all.
For people like you who don’t get a decent mobile service at home (or don’t own a mobile), you can ask Google or the email provider to call your landline instead. You can typically add two mobile and landline numbers to the two-step process. A landline is arguably more secure.
Alternatively, use a smartphone-based app which automatically generates a one-time passcode using an algorithm. The code changes every 30 seconds. Crucially, you don’t need a mobile phone signal or to be online to receive the code. The Guardian’s tech gurus recommend using Google Authenticator, or Authy.
One last thing to consider is upgrading your mobile to 4G. Living where you do, you should be able to get a mobile service.
Buying a 4G phone could improve your service and mean you can make and receive calls at home.
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