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Social Media and the Two-Step

No, I am not talking about the dance move, but rather about something called two-step (or two factor) verification. Unfortunately, hackers are getting smarter. Hackers, through social engineering and other means, are getting access to accounts, especially high profile ones. Recently, the Associated Press’ Twitter handle and several Guardian News and Media Twitter handles were compromised.  

What is two-step verification?

Two-step verification is a very straightforward process. It adds additional security to the login process. Instead of needing just your password to login, the site will require an additional piece of information. For example, users of sites that have this option may choose to have a code sent to their phone. After entering their password, they will then input the provided code to verify that it is truly their account.

Is two-step verification available on every site?

Not quite, at least not yet. Many social media venues and companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Yahoo have two-step verification. Twitter is planning to release it on its service soon, as well.

Once I enable two-step verifications, are my accounts hack-free?

Unfortunately, even with two-step verification enabled, hackers are just going to get smarter. However, two-step verification does provide an additional layer of security for the time being.  Here are some general password tips:

  • Use symbols, numerals, punctuation, upper-case and lower-case letters
  • Do not share your passwords with others
  • Do not have the same password for every account
  • Change passwords frequently

Today, registering for a website is completely different from what it used to require. Nowadays, one can merely register by using a social media account as the login device. For example with Pinterest, you can sign in with Facebook or Twitter.

Having to remember the information for only one account can make life very convenient. But this could also be a security disaster. If you begin to link one social media account to several sites, all a hacker has to do to compromise all of your accounts is obtain one login and one password.  Use two-step verification and take the necessary steps to protect your personal information.

Does anyone use two-step verification? If so, do you feel your accounts and information are better protected as a result?