Turn on Google 2-Step Verification. Now.

Earlier this month, Google announced a privacy option that you should look into and turn on for your Google profile: 2-step verification.

What is it?

2-step validation for Login adds a layer of protection for you and your devices by generating random codes for login. You can set up random validation codes for all of your Google-related apps and devices. I've got them for laptop access to web-based apps such as Seesmic and Twitter.com, as well as my Droid phone apps. Can never be too secure...

Why bother?

Because right now someone could be hacking your account.
Because if you lose your phone tomorrow, they won't need to. (You're probably already logged into every possible Google app on your smartphone, aren't you?)

How do I set it up?

I recommend reading this article by Tech Crunch or this one by Internet's Best Secrets for more information. Or check out the announcement on the Google Blog.

Then:
  1. Log into Google
  2. Go to your account page.
  3. On your account page, check the Security options for "Using 2-step verification".
  4. Select "Turn on 2-step verification".
  5. Set up how to receive verification codes (by mobile app, phone, printables)*
  6. Set up a backup phone number to receive codes
  7. Set up codes for specific applications
*At this point, the system will either show or send you codes that you will need to sign back into Google via your laptop and any of your devices. You can also generate codes for various applications (the device passwords are done using this tool too).

If you get a little confused, be patient and work through it or check the Verification Help info. It took me a few tries to get the right password for each app and device, but once it was set up, all was good.

So go ahead. Go protect your devices. There'll be plenty of geek for you when you get back.