Almost everyone is Facebook and Instagram if nowhere else! But do you know that social networking accounts are one of the most easy targets when it comes to online identity theft and hacking?
Adding an extra layer of security to protect your various social media, online shopping, mailing and cloud accounts often proves to be the shield that reduces the probability of getting hacked. The same applies to your device and system security too.
The extra layer of security we are referring to is Two-Factor Authentication, also known as Two-Step Verification or 2FA.
What is 2FA?
Enabling 2FA means you’d have to enter a code (which you receive on your phone) after you have typed in your password for the service, social media platform, and/or device concerned.
This process gives web services a secondary access to the account owner (i.e. you) to verify login attempts from unknown devices/systems. It also helps to run a security check of account holders, in an official capacity, at regular intervals. Typically, this involves phone number and / or an email address.
Multi-Factor authentication is not an absolute measure against hacking, but it helps in preventing your account from being accessed by unauthorized users.
Here’s how to enable 2FA on your accounts across the web.
Two-Factor Authentication in Instagram can only be enabled from the mobile app.
Go to your profile, click the settings menu on the upper right-hand corner. Now, under the Account section, look for “Two-Factor Authentication option.” Click on it. It will now prompt you to turn on “Require Security Code”. This means that you will now receive a text message with a login code to the phone number connected with your account each time you sign in.
To enable two-factor authentication login to your Facebook account. Now click at the upper right side on a web browser or app. Click Settings > Security and Login and enable it.
The simple way is to visit https://www.facebook.com/settings?tab=security.
Now login to your account and under the section “Use two-factor authentication”. Once you click Edit you will get an option to register your phone number to receive a code each time you log in.
In case you do not have cell service, you can set up a Security Key to log in through USB or NFC, or pre-generate a Recovery Code.
If you use a personal computer and do not want 2FA each time you log in from the same system, you can also add your trusted devices under the “Authorized Logins” menu.
This will help you bypass 2FA for devices on which you are already logged in to your Facebook account.
On either the Twitter mobile app or browser version, click the avatar and find the “Settings and privacy” menu. Under “Account” > “Security.” Now toggle on “Login verification” to make Twitter send you text with a code to log in.
You can also login by visiting https://twitter.com/settings/account
You can also generate a backup code to use when you’re without internet or cell service. Also you can create a temporary app password to log in from other devices, but remember it will expire within one hour of generation.
Go to the Amazon homepage and log in. Now click on your account name and look for “Login & Security” click the edit button on “Advanced Security Settings.”
To set up, click “Get Started” and Amazon will walk you through registering your phone number, or you can opt to use your preferred authenticator app by syncing it through a QR code.
Once verified, you can select trusted devices to bypass Two Factor Authentication or generate a code to login via a mobile app.
The easiest way to turn 2-step verification is login to your Google account. Now click on my Account > Sign –in & security. Now here select 2-step verification and enable it. You need to setup up a phone number before selecting to receive verification codes by text message or phone call.
You can also visit: https://myaccount.google.com/security to enable 2-step verification.
You can also generate backup codes for offline access. Google generates 10 codes at a time, and they’re for single-use only.
Open Dropbox homepage on the web, click your profile avatar and find “Settings” > “Security.” Scroll down a bit to find “Two-Step Verification.” From here, enable it and enter your phone number to verify.
Open your WhatsApp, and under the Setting > Account > Two-step verification and hit enable.
You need to setup up a pin and input your email as an alternative place to receive the verification code.
An associated email with your WhatsApp account will give extra security since the service won’t let you re-verify yourself if you’ve forgot your PIN. It will re-verify you in every 7 days.
Login to your account, click the gear icon on the main dashboard and find “Profile and settings.” PayPal doesn’t explicitly call the feature out as “Two-Factor Authentication” so you’ll need to look for “Security Key.” Click this to set up 2 step verification by entering your phone number, verifying with the SMS code, and continue as normal.
If you lose your phone, change numbers, or decide to revoke authorization rights, follow the same steps to make changes.
Two-factor authentication for iCloud & Apple ID
Users who are using iOS 10.3 or later can secure their Apple Id with 2 step verification by going to “Settings” > > “Password & Security.” Now slide the button turn on 2 Factor Authentication. Once you enable it, each time you login you will receive a text message with a code.
If you are using iOS 10.2 or earlier, go to settings > under “iCloud” > “Apple ID” > “Password & Security.” From here you can enable 2 Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is a new service built directly into iOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS, and Apple’s web sites. It uses different methods to trust devices and deliver verification codes, and offers a more streamlined user experience.
This is not an exhaustive list of apps and services with 2 step verification. But surely some of the most popular ones. Let us know if you know of any other service that offers 2FA to make your online experinece a little less vulnerable to cyber attacks.