With its crazy array of online services and products, Google knows how much people rely on it to keep their information safe and secure. To help with that task, the search giant has introduced a new optional security measure of all its user accounts.

The new layer of security puts users through a two-part log-in procedure consisting of a traditional username/password combination and a new verification code that gets sent to your mobile phone in a text message. It may sound like a lot of extra work, but once you turn on the service, it's pretty simple to use. After you enter your password, you press a button to get the code text messaged to your phone. You can also generate a code using a mobile app on your Android phone, BlackBerry, or iPhone.

Users can also opt to keep the same verification code for 30 days on a certain computer if the idea of constantly generating a new code sounds like too much work. Yeah, it's an extra step—one that most people don't want to go through—but it's one Google believes will significantly improve your account security. "[The system] requires the powerful combination of both something you know—your username and password—and something that only you should have—your phone," Google wrote on its blog today. "A hacker would need access to both of these factors to gain access to your account."

[Google Blog]