2 min read

Updating The Google Password

Have you updated your Google password lately? It has gotten a little crazy. It isn't Google's fault - it's that we live in a goofy web of interconnected, insecure-trying-to-be-secure devices that falter when trying to communicate with one another.
Updating The Google Password
Screenshot by Chris Field. All rights reserved.

Have you updated your Google password lately? It has gotten a little crazy. It isn’t Google’s fault – it’s that we live in a goofy web of interconnected, insecure-trying-to-be-secure devices that falter when trying to communicate with one another.

I updated my Google password in my browser. It was pretty easy. Open a browser. Log into Google. Go to my account settings, click the security tab, change the password. Write the new password on a sticky note and put it on my monitor.

Then Google emailed me: “Did you want to change your password?” Yep.

Oops – oh yeah. My cell phone pulls down mail from GMail. I open up my GMail on my cell and, as expected, can no longer log in. “Do you want to change your password?” Yeppers.

And then Google asks me – “What is the Security Code we texted to your mobile device?” Well – this is my mobile device. The text appears a moment later and I enter the code. Now GMail on my phone works.

But that was some kind of weird double-authentication fail. The texted security code is supposed to show that I have access to a secondary device and therefore probably am who I am claiming to be (the account owner). But when I am “double” verifying ownership of the mobile device by providing a text code sent to the mobile device … I dunno. Seems like a breakdown in the system somewhere.

OK whew. Oh – desktop mail client. “Do you want to change your password?” *sigh*. Yes. “Invalid password.” Hey no way! That’s the right password! I have it right here on a sticky note on my monitor!

Ooooooh … Right. For the desktop client, I need to provide an Application-Specific Password. Which means I open up a new browser tab and log into Google, and generate a new application-specific password. I copy that to my clipboard (because I only need it once!). Then on my computer, I open my main system settings, and then navigate over to user accounts, find my mail accounts and … where am I? What was I doing? Oh hey – time for lunch.