This page covers frequently asked questions about using Google 2-Step Verification (2SV). We are continuing to update this list as additional questions come to us.

Table of Contents

General 2SV Questions

1. What are my options for a 2nd Step?

You have many options for your 2nd step with Google 2-Step Verification:

  • Google Prompt: Google will send a prompt to either the Google or Gmail app on your smartphone. You can simply tap the prompt to prove its you.
  • SMS Text Messages: Google will text a 6-digit verification code to your phone.
  • Phone Call: Google will call your phone, and an automated voice will tell you your 6-digit verification code.
  • Security Key: A security key is a small device that you keep with you. It connects to your phone, tablet, or computer to prove that the person using it is you. 

For more information on how to configure alternate verification methods, please see How to Configure a New Google 2-Step Verification Method.

2. What if I lose phone or Internet service? Can I still access my account?

The Google Authenticator app for iPhone and Android can generate verification codes. It even works when your device has no phone or data connectivity (though it might be hard to check your email without an internet connection!).

For more information on how to configure it, please see How to Configure a New Google 2-Step Verification Method.

3. What if I lose my 2nd Factor?

Biola IT manages all Biola email accounts, we can always help you access your account, even if your 2nd factor is lost or stolen. Please contact us at 562.903.4740 or

Alternatively, you can print out backup codes and keep them in your wallet or purse. These one-time use codes can be used to access your account.

For more information on how to print physical backup codes, please see How to Configure a New Google 2-Step Verification Method.

4. Do I need to use my 2nd Factor every time I log in to my account?

No. If you don't want to provide a second verification step each time you sign in on your computer or phone, check the box next to "Don't ask again on this computer."

Important: Only check this box on devices you regularly use and don't share with anyone else.

5. I don’t want to use my cell phone. Can I still use 2FA?

Yes. Cell phones are the most common 2nd factor because so many people have them, but they aren’t necessary. 

For more information on how to configure alternate verification methods, please see How to Configure a New Google 2-Step Verification Method.

6. Do I need a smartphone to use 2FA?

Any phone can be used for 2-Factor Authentication if it can receive phone calls or SMS text messages.

7. Can I still use email clients such as Apple Mail or Microsoft Outlook?

Yes. Google 2-Step Verification is compatible with many third-party email clients. Modern email clients should allow you to authenticate your Gmail account in a browser and will ask you to provide a Google 2-Step Verification code.

Note: If you are using an older email client that doesn't automatically authenticate your account in a browser, you may need to create an app password on your Google security page and enter this code instead of your Gmail account password.

8. Who should enable Google 2-Step Verification?

Information Technology is only asking Staff and Faculty to enable 2-Step Verification by February 2, 2021, at this timeAny employee who has not enabled it by this date may risk losing access to their Biola Google account (e.g. Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar).

We will be reaching out to Students, Alumni, and department account owners about 2-Step Verification later this Spring.

2SV for Department Emails

1. Is 2SV for a department email any different than 2SV for my personal account?

Google 2-Step will work exactly the same way for a department account as for a standard Biola Google account. If you are the only person using your department account, the experience will be identical to your standard Biola account.

Note: If the department account is shared with multiple users then the account owner may need to use Gmail Delegation and/or Shared Drives to grant access to your coworkers (see below).

2. Can multiple people use their own 2SV on the same Google account?

No. Each Google account must have a single, documented owner. Only the account owner should know the password for the account, and passwords must never be shared with anyone.

The account owner is responsible for the account, and will configure Google 2-Step Verification with their personal device (e.g. their cell phone). When the account owner logs in to the department account, they may be prompted for their 2SV passcode, just like their normal account.

3. How do I share my account with multiple people?

The account owner can use Gmail Delegation to grant other users access to the email account. These users will access the shared account from within their Biola email account, and do not need to know the password for the shared account.

The department email account owner is responsible for managing Google delegation. This includes adding delegates and removing access periodically (e.g. each semester or every year) to ensure that only approved users have access to the shared account.

For more information on how to set up or use account delegation, please see the following pages:

4. What if I don't want to use delegation to share my account?

Gmail Delegation is Google's intended method to share access to an email account.

Delegation is the only way for multiple users to access an account without each of them requiring 2-Step Verification. 

5. How will 2SV impact my department account’s Google Drive functionality?

If you are the only person using your departmental account, Google Drive can continue functioning like normal.

If the account is shared, Gmail Delegation only grants access to an account’s email inbox. It does not grant access to Google Drive.

If you use your shared department email account to manage data in Google Drive, then IT can create a Shared Drive for your team to use instead. Shared Drives have many benefits over standard Google Drives.

Please fill out a 2SV Department Inquiry Form if you think you will need a Shared Drive for your department.

6. I still have concerns about using 2SV with my department email account.

We want to work with you! Please fill out the 2SV Department Inquiry Form, and we will reach out to you.

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