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Evernote introduces two-step verification, other security enhancements

Evernote's motto is "remember everything," which means that you might put everything onto the cloud service -- work notebooks, pictures of food, business cards, you name it. One problem with placing all of that personal and work-related information in the cloud is that it makes it a target for identity thieves. Today, Evernote announced three new security-related features to protect your information from prying eyes.

The first is two-step verification, which according to Evernote will happen only when you log into Evernote Web or install Evernote on a new device and is only available at this time to Evernote Premium and Business users. Eventually, the company plans to roll out two-step verification to all users.

As with other two-step verification methods used by Apple, Google and Dropbox, you combine your password (something you know) with something you have -- a device or browser into which a random six-digit code is entered. That code can either be sent as a text message to your device, or users can fire up Google's Authenticator app to generate the code for them. Evernote emphasizes that two-step verification is optional, and warns users that if they lose access to the secondary access method they can "run the risk of permanently locking yourself out of your account."

The other enhancements, which are available to all users of Evernote, include Authorized Applications and Access History. If you lose a computer or device, you can revoke access rights to Evernote from that device using the Evernote Web Account Settings. That app or device will request a password from a user the next time it is launched. Likewise, Access History provides a way to see every time your account was accessed -- including location and IP address -- for the last 30 days. If all of your work is done from a home office in Colorado and you suddenly see that your info is being accessed from Shenzen, China, it's time to change passwords and set up two-step verification (if it's not too late).

Evernote spokesperson Ronda Scott noted that "Implementing two-step verification was not trivial. It required updates to all of our applications including Evernote, Skitch, Penultimate, Evernote Food and others and significant back-end work. We've always intended to add two-step as an option to those who wanted it. Back in March we said this was coming and we're rolling it out starting today."

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