As you may have 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. So, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to remind you to turn on two-factor authentication (2FA) on your own Twitter account to avoid being among the next victims.
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When you enable 2FA, you’ll have to enter a password and an additional code to log into your account. That code can be sent to your phone, email, or generated by an authenticator app. The last option is the safest. Hackers are still very capable of accessing your voicemail or intercepting your text messages. Either way, however, 2FA protection is better than just a password.
Think of 2FA as your own personal bouncer — 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.
Choose your 2FA method
If you’re using Twitter’s mobile app, swipe to the right on the home screen and tap on Settings and privacy. Those of you on a web browser will find the tab after clicking “More.”
Then, tap Account > Security > Two-factor authentication which brings you to a list of options of where Twitter should send your code. Again, it’s best to choose an authentication app, such as Google Authenticator or Authy.
You can also choose Security Key, which requires inserting a physical security key into the computer’s USB port. But it’s only available for Safari, Edge, Opera, and Chrome browsers and can’t be used with the Twitter app.
Once you’ve toggled on your preferred method, you’ll be prompted through specific steps to turn on 2FA.
Set up a temporary password
If you’re using a web browser to set up 2FA, it’s important to note that you won’t be able to log into Twitter.com on other devices using your current username and password. You’ll have to first go through the process of creating a temporary password.
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However, this process isn’t required if you’re using Twitter’s iOS and Android app or logging into Twitter via your phone’s web browser. It’s essential if you’re logging onto the site from a computer it doesn’t recognize.