Staying safe online is no longer a simple matter of ensuring you don’t visit the wrong website. Threats to your personal identity can come in any form; malicious apps, phishing scams, and hacked or hijacked accounts. Hacked accounts are now a major threat for the simple reason that there is just so much to hack; emails, cloud storage accounts, social media accounts, and what not. For this reason alone, companies like Apple, and Microsoft have introduced two-factor authentication for Apple IDs, and for Outlook, respectively. Google has long supported the feature as well and now, Twitter has become the latest major internet company to join the list. If you’ve connected your phone to your Twitter account, you can set up two-factor now if it’s available for your account (the feature is being rolled out slowly). Here’s the step-by-step procedure.
Sign in to Twitter, click the cogwheel button at the top-right, and go to ‘Settings’. Next, scroll down to the ‘Account security’. If you haven’t added a phone to your account, the ‘Require a verification code when I sign in’ option will be inactive.
Add a phone first; enter you phone number and select your carrier. Twitter populates a list for you based on your location.
Adding a phone works slightly differently on Twitter than it does on Google or other services. Instead of receiving a message from Twitter, you’re asked to send one to the service instead. Once you’ve sent the message, wait for the following page to refresh. You might have to wait for up to ten minutes, since the service can be a bit slow. If takes too long, resend the message. Once your phone has been added, the page refreshes and allows you to select what events you will receive alerts for.
Return to the Settings page. The ‘Require a verification code when I sign in’ option will now be active. Select it and Twitter will send you a message to verify your phone. Click ‘Yes’ when asked if you’ve received your code, and re-enter your Twitter password to complete the set-up process.
The next time you log in to Twitter, you will receive a six digit code on your phone that you will have enter to sign in, after entering your password.
That’s about all it takes to set up and use two-factor authentication. There is one small downside to this though’; Twitter doesn’t have the option to remember a trusted system. That means you will be repeating the process each time you log in, whether it’s from a public computer, or your own PC at home. Apps that you’re already using with Twitter will not be affected by the new security measure, should you choose to enable it. Needless to say, even with two-factor authentication, make sure you have a strong password.