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Twitter Introduces Two-Step Authentication | Network Security

Posted by Ronan Kavanagh on Thu, May 23rd, 2013

Finally, following a slew of many high-profile account compromises Twitter announced that it has introduced two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication makes use of a password and an additional mode of security to verify the users identify and grant access to the account. Google introduced its two-factor authentication back in 2010.  A uniquely generated code is sent to the owners mobile when a new device or app initially accesses the main Google account.  Many other online services have responded to ongoing calls for increases in online security by implementing similar systems.

 Everyday an increasing number of people and companies sign up and log into Twitter.  On the whole these login attempts are from entirely genuine account creators and owners but an increasing number of accounts are becoming compromised by proactive cybercriminals using email phishing or equivalent network security scams. The most recent case came to light when well known and heavily followed Twitter accounts for American Associated Press and Guardian UK were compromised and a fabricated story relating to American President Barack Obama and a number of explosions at the White House were made viral resulting in a temporary drop in the American Stock Markets. Having your Twitter account hacked whether it is professional or personal account can cause irreparable reputational damage and may even supply hackers with secure email addresses and passwords for other accounts that may be linked to the Twitter account.

Setting up Twitter’s Two Step Authentication

Taking the time to set up this increased security measure may be what ultimately thwarts an opportunistic hacker from getting free reign on you Twitter account. When you sign in to twitter.com, there’s a second check to make sure it’s really you. You will be asked to register a verified phone number and a confirmed email address. It is easy to set up the two step authentication process. To do this just go into your account settings and select ‘require a verification code when I sign in’. Now confirm the email address and verify your phone number, and whenever you sign into Twitter on a new or unknown device or app, an SMS with a six digit code will be sent to your phone.  Just enter that code and your new app or device is ready to use with Twitter.

Step by Step

1. Find your account settings page on your Twitter account.

2. Select 'Require a verification code when I sign in'

3. Then click on the link to 'add a phone' now follow the prompts.

4. After you enrol in this login verification, you'll be asked to enter a unique six digit code that has been sent to your phone via a text message.

While this process will add extra security to an account, it’s still critically important to use an extra strong password and to change it every few weeks.  Also try to refrain from linking accounts with the same passwords, security questions or email addresses.

 

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