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Twitter Hacked, now is a good time to turn on two-factor authentication (2FA)

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In case you haven’t heard, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Kanye West, Apple, and other public figures and companies were victims of a major hack by scammers asking for bitcoin.

This would be the perfect opportunity to remind you to turn on two-factor authentication (2FA) on your own Twitter account.

Think of 2FA as your own personal gatekeeper — sure, you might look old enough to drink, but you have to show your ID at the door before gaining access to the club.

There is no guarantee that 2FA would have prevented this hack. This could have been a breach using Twitter’s internal tools. Still, it’s important to take additional steps to protect your account.

Here’s how to turn on 2FA to keep (at least some) hackers at bay.

How to verify your login

  1. In the side menu, click More, then click Settings and privacy.
  2. Click on your Account settings and click Security.
  3. Tap Two-factor authentication.
  4. There are three methods to choose from: Text message, Authentication app, or Security key.

To sign up via text message:

  1. Click the checkbox next to Text message.
  2. Read the overview instructions, then click Next.
  3. Enter your password, then click Verify.
    Note: If you don’t already have a phone number associated with your account, we’ll prompt you to enter it. Additionally you can choose to deselect the option to allow your existing contacts to find you on Twitter.
  4. Now we’ll ask you to enter the confirmation code we sent you via text message. Type in the code, You’ll see a confirmation screen with a backup code. We recommend you store a screenshot of the code in case you need it for future use. This will help you access your account if you lose your mobile phone or change your phone number.
  5. Click Got it when you’re finished with this screen.

Now, when you log in to your account on twitter.com, Twitter for iOS, Twitter for Android, or mobile.twitter.com, a six-digit code will be text messaged to your phone to use during login.

To sign up via authentication app:

  1. Click the checkbox next to Authentication app.
  2. Read the overview instructions, then click Start.
  3. If prompted, enter your password and click Verify.
  4. You’ll be prompted to link your authentication app to your Twitter account by scanning a QR code.(If you don’t already have an app installed on your device, you’ll need to download one. You can use any time-based one time password (TOTP) authentication app like Google Authenticator, Authy, Duo Mobile, 1Password, etc.)
  5. After you scan the QR code, click Next.
  6. Enter the code generated by your authentication app, then click Verify.
  7. You’ll see a confirmation screen. Click Got it to finish setup.

Now, through your authentication app, you can view and use codes to log in to your Twitter account.

To sign up via Security key:

  1. To get started, you will first need to turn on either the Text message or Authentication app two-factor authentication method.
  2. Click Security key.
  3. Read the overview, then click Start.
  4. Insert your physical security key to your computer’s USB port and touch it.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish setup.

Note: You’ll need to use the latest version of a supported browser like Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, or Safari in order to add or log in to your account with a security key.

Now, with your security key, you can log in to your account on twitter.com.

How to turn off two-factor authentication:

  1. In the side menu, click More, then click Settings and privacy.
  2. Click on your Account settings and click Security.
  3. Click Two-factor authentication.
  4. Uncheck the box next to your selected two-factor authentication method to turn it off.

Temporary passwords

After you enable two-factor authentication for your account via twitter.com, you’ll need to use a temporary password to log in to Twitter on other devices or applications that require you to enter your Twitter password; you will not be able to log in using your usual username and password combination. If we detect you will need a temporary password to log in, we will send one via SMS text message to your phone. Alternatively, you can generate your own temporary password.

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James Barnley

I’m the editor of the DomainingAfrica. I write about internet and social media, focusing mainly on Domains. As a subscriber to my newsletter, you’ll get a lot of information on Domain Issues, ICANN, new gtld’s, Mobile technology and social media.

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