How to set up two-factor authentication on all your online accounts

How to set up two-factor authentication on all your online accounts

Just about any account you own on the internet is prone to being hacked. After numerous widespread breaches through the past years, tech companies are now working together to develop a standard that would make passwords a thing of the past, replacing them with more secure methods like biometric or PIN-based logins that do not require transferring data over the internet.

But while those standards are still being adopted, the next best way to secure your accounts is two-factor authentication, or 2FA. This a process that gives web services secondary access to the account owner (you) in order to verify a login attempt. Typically, this involves a phone number and / or an email address. This is how it works: when you log into a service, you use your mobile phone to verify your identity by either clicking on a texted / emailed link, or by typing in a number sent by an authenticator app.

WHAT ARE AUTHENTICATOR APPS?

Authenticator apps are considered more secure than texting; in addition, they offer flexibility when you are traveling to a place without cellular service. Popular options include Authy, Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, or HDE OTP (iOS only). These apps mostly follow the same procedure when adding a new account: you scan a QR code associated with your account and it is saved in the app. The next time you log in to your service or app, it will ask for a numerical code; just open up the authenticator app to find the randomly generated code required to get past security.

While 2FA — via text, email, or an authenticator app — does not completely cloak you from potential hackers, it is an important step in preventing your account from being accessed by unauthorized users. Here’s how to enable 2FA on your accounts across the web.

APPLE

Two-factor authentication is currently offered to Apple users on iOS 9 or macOS X El Capitan or later. (We don’t make the rules!)

iOS

The steps are slightly different depending on how updated your iOS software is. For those using iOS 10.3 or later, you can enable 2FA on your Apple ID by going to Settings > [Your Name] > Password & Security. Turn on 2FA to receive a text message with a code each time you log in.

For those using iOS 10.2 or earlier, the settings are under iCloud > Apple ID > Password & Security.

macOS

Click the Apple icon on the upper left corner of your screen, then click System Preferences > iCloud > Account Details. (You can shorten this step a bit by typing in “iCloud” using Spotlight.) Click on Security, and you’ll see the option to turn 2FA on.

The remainder of the steps, from either iOS or Mac, are the same. You can opt for Apple to send you a six-digit verification code by text message or a phone call. You can also set up a physical security key here.

INSTAGRAM

Instagram added 2FA to its mobile app in 2017, but now you can also activate it through the web.

To activate 2FA on your mobile app, head over to your profile and click the hamburger menu on the upper right corner. Look for Settings, then Privacy and Security. The menu item for Two-Factor Authentication is located in the Security section.

From here, you can choose between text message-based verification, a code sent to your authentication app, or one of Instagram’s pre-generated recovery codes. The last is most useful if you are traveling in a place where you lack phone service to receive texts.

To turn on 2FA using the web, log in and head to your profile. Next to your profile name, there is a gear icon next to the Edit Profile button. Clicking this will pop open a settings menu, where you can find the same Privacy and Security section as on the app. From here, you can turn on 2FA and, just as in the app, choose your method for verification.

FACEBOOK

The way to access Facebook’s 2FA settings is bit different on the app and the web (and Facebook tends to update both layouts often).

As of March 2019, you can access your privacy settings on the mobile app on both iOS and Android by clicking the hamburger icon on the upper right corner and scrolling down to the bottom to find the Settings & Privacy menu. Tap Settings > Security and Login. The 2FA option will be available under Setting Up Extra Security.

Like Instagram (they are part of the same company, after all), you can opt for a text message, an authentication app, or recovery codes for verification.

On the web, click the arrow next to the Help icon (a circle with a question mark inside) on the upper right side. Toward the bottom, you can find the Settings menu that can take you to the main page where you’ll find Security and Login on the left-hand side. Click on that, and then find the Two-Factor Authentication subsection. You can also add a security key login through USB or NFC here.

If you prefer to not use 2FA each time you log in from the same device (say, your personal laptop or phone), you can also set up your trusted devices under the Authorized Logins menu. This will allow you to bypass 2FA for devices currently logged in to your Facebook account. If you’ve logged into Facebook on a foreign device — say, a hotel computer while you were on vacation — you can also revoke that access through this setting.

Additionally, for apps that don’t support 2FA when logging in with a Facebook account (such as Xbox and Spotify), you can generate a unique password specifically associated with that account. Just name the app, click generate, and save that password for the next time you have to log in.

TWITTER

On either the Twitter mobile app or browser version, click your profile avatar and find the “Settings and privacy” menu. On the left-hand menu, go to Account. Look for the Security subhead, click on “Set up login verification,” and follow the directions.

Once you’re all set up, Twitter will then text a code number to your phone number when you want to log in. Recently, Twitter has also added security key support…….Read more>>

Source:- theverge

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