2-Step Verification

2-Step Verification is a required extra layer of security on all employee email accounts by requiring more than just your password to sign in to your CCS account. New employees will have a two week grace period to setup 2-Step Verification on your email account. If you don’t enable 2-Step Verification in the specified time, your account will be suspended and you will have to contact the Technology Help Desk (704) 476-8142.

  • Accounts can only be re-enabled during business hours (8-3:30 Monday-Friday, August - June).

Why are we doing this?

To add an additional layer of protection on all of our user accounts that will help prevent unauthorized access. Even if a password is guessed, phished, or otherwise stolen, an attacker can't sign in without the verification code.


This security process is available now and we are requesting that our users begin signing up for this as soon as possible. Enforcement of this policy was applied on May 13, 2021. Any staff account that has not completed 2-Step Verification enrollment by this date will need to refer to the last question in the FAQ section below.

Enable 2-Step Verification

  1. On a laptop or desktop, sign in to My Account (https://myaccount.google.com) using your @clevelandcountyschools.org account.

  2. Click on "Security" in the left side menu. Scroll to the "Signing in to Google" section.

  3. Click on "2-Step Verification".

  4. You will then be prompted to enter your CCS account password. This will bring you to the 2-Step Verification settings page.

  5. Choose which method(s) you want to use for your second verification. (View the third question below in the FAQs to see what methods there are.) A step-by-step guide will help you through the setup process.

Once you’re finished, you’ll be taken to the 2-Step Verification settings page again. You may add as many methods as you would like.

Now when you attempt to sign-in to Google on an unverified device you will be prompted to enter a verification code, which you will receive via the method you selected during the setup. Enter the verification code and you are in. If you have the Gmail mobile app open on an iOS device when you set 2-Step up and you are not prompted for a verification code and just see a white background and spinning circle double tap your home button and swipe up to close the Gmail app. When you open it again it will ask you to sign-in and then prompt/send the verification code.


Who does this apply to?

All staff Google accounts.

Does this apply to students accounts?

No, this is not required on student accounts.

What second step methods are available?

There are several different 2-Step Verification methods available and we recommend you choose at least two. Most people use their cell phone as their primary method, either by receiving a text, a phone call, or using an app. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons for each method:

  • Text message: The most common method and available at initial setup. Still works if you change phones but keep your number. May fail if traveling abroad. You only enter the numbers and not the "G-" that is included in the verification text.

  • Phone call: Great for cell phones or office phones that have direct dial number from outside CCS. Landlines are also good secondary methods in the event that you can’t use any of the other cell-dependent methods.

  • Printed backup codes: Great when all other methods fail. Not designed to be the primary or only authentication method. Gives 10 verification codes at a time.

  • Authentication app: More secure than text. Available without wifi or cell signal. Great for travelers. Apps like Authy allow computers to generate codes, not just mobile devices. Not available at initial setup and breaks if the device is wiped or replaced.

  • Google prompt: Available at initial setup. Easy to set up and use. Doesn’t need a cell signal. Requires Gmail or Google App to be installed on the user's device. Breaks if the password is reset.

  • USB Security Key: Not phone dependent. Requires additional purchase of the USB key hardware.

Can you explain Google 2-Step Verification in more detail?

Google 2-Step Verification is an extra layer of security for your CCS account. It greatly reduces the likelihood that your account is compromised by a simple data breach or phishing attack. Specifically, 2-Step Verification is designed to stop a hacker who obtained your password by also requiring a thing that only you have, like your phone. In practice, you’ll occasionally be prompted to verify your identity with a method you’ve already chosen, like typing a one-time code sent to your phone.

Do I need a phone?

No, you can use printed backup codes, or an authenticator app such as Authy on laptop/desktop or mobile device, or a USB security key.

What do I do if I do not have cell service in the building?

The authenticator app or backup code options do require cell or network connectivity to function properly once they have been set up.

What happens if I do not enroll by the deadline?

If a staff member does not enroll by the deadline, their account will become disabled and they will have to call the help desk (704) 476-8142 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. (Monday - Friday) to request their account be reactivated. Enrollment for those staff members will need to be completed immediately upon their account being reactivated to ensure continued access to their account.