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There's a quick and easy way to make your accounts more secure

And it only takes a minute or two to set up each one.

No, it doesn't involve putting a small lock on your phone. It's better than that.
No, it doesn't involve putting a small lock on your phone. It's better than that.
Image: Shutterstock/wk1003mike

GOOD SECURITY MEASURES are always necessary when you have an account online. Yet how many of us settle for the standard username and password?

Unless you have an incredibly strong password, you shouldn’t settle for that alone, and thankfully there is a simple and quick way to add an extra layer of security to your accounts with minimal effort.

Two-step verification might be seen as an optional measure, but really you should treat it as compulsory. Everyone has a phone, be it smart or dumb, and setting it up only takes a small bit of effort at best.

There’s a reason why this keeps coming back up again and again. By adding it, you give your accounts a much-needed layer of security, and ensures that even if your password is somehow discovered, they still won’t be able to get in without access to your phone.

While other methods like fingerprint scanners become more prevalent, the fact is most phones don’t have that kind of functionality so here’s how to activate it for some of the most popular services.

(Note: This doesn’t mean you should forget about using a strong password. No method guarantees 100% security, but adding this doesn’t require you to remember anything extra).

How does it work

As the name implies, it adds an extra (but short) step to the login process. When you enter your username and password, you’re then prompted to enter a temporary code which will be sent to your phone, either by SMS or app depending on the service. Once you do that, you’re logged in.

Facebook

Filed under login approvals. Go into Settings > Security where ‘login approvals’ is the second option available. Alternatively, you can use code generator which is more useful if you’re regularly logging into new devices.

Login approvals Source: Facebook

Twitter

Go into settings – found by clicking on your profile picture beside the compose new tweet button – and go into the security and privacy section. The first section has login verification will allow you to log in by entering a code via SMS, or through the Twitter app.

The latter requires you to activate the same Settings > @username > Security > Login Verification. Remember to take a note of your backup code in case you need to access your Twitter account from a different device.

Snapchat

Swiping down on the main screen and going into settings, you’ll find ‘Login Verification’ located at the bottom of the ‘My Account’ section.

snapchat-2-step-verification-2-562x500 Source: Snapchat

Apple

You’re required to sign in to your Apple ID (which accesses iTunes, App Store etc.) where you’ll find the option under Password and Security. You will be asked two security questions (think what’s your first pet, etc.) so fingers crossed you remember them.

Once you have it activated, you’ll never have to remember a security question again which is reason enough to activate it.

Google

Google has an entire site dedicated to setting up two-step verification, which is useful if you want to learn more about its benefits. From there, it’s a matter of logging into your account and following the instructions. This applies for all of your accounts.

google 2 step verification Source: Google

Windows

Like Google, there’s a page dedicated towards security settings. If you scroll down a little, you will see a section dedicated to two-step verification. From there, it’s a matter of following the instructions.

Other sites

That’s only a small selection of the services which include two-step verification. Amazon, Steam, Dropbox, Evernote, Slack, Telegram, YouTube, Kickstarter, PayPal, Stripe, eBay, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Wordpress are some of the many other sites that support it.

A full list of sites that do (and don’t) support it can be found here, but really, you’ve nothing to lose by activating it. In some cases, it will make your life that little bit easier.

Read: The SIM card as you know it could soon be a thing of the past >

Read: This classic computer is making a return as a smartphone >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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