What do Amazon Web Services, Dropbox, Facebook, Google Accounts, Microsoft/Hotmail, PayPal/eBay, and Twitter now have in common? Two-factor authentication.

Twitter introduced Wednesday a two-factor authentication system to improve the security of user accounts on its micro-blogging platform.

The company finally decided to upgrade its protection against cybercriminals after a series of hacking incidents against popular Twitter accounts such as the Associated Press, The Onion, and E! Online.

Jim O’Leary, product security team at Twitter, unveiled the new feature through Twitter’s official blog, where he wrote that the move addresses the recent problems associated with accounts “occasionally” being hooked by phishing schemes and password security breaches on other websites.
Popular brands that have a large following on the platform will likely gain interest on the new security feature, as it will make hackers work hard to circumvent the system and access their Twitter accounts.

The company calls it “login verification,” a simple way of naming a form of two-factor authentication also used by Google. Twitter will send a six-digit code to the account owner through an SMS text message for the added layer of security. The code has to be entered for login verification, the same way Google does it.

The login verification process thru SMS will be required each time the user signs in to twitter.com. Google accounts use this only once for each computer or mobile device that a user signs in to.

To start using login verification, visit the Twitter account settings page and select “Require a verification code when I sign in.” Then click on the link to “add a phone” and follow the prompts. A confirmed email address and verified phone number are needed for login verification to work. It will initially send a test message for activation.

Twitter said that, once enabled, login verification will not affect or disrupt the operations of existing applications linked with Twitter.
For apps that require a login to Twitter, O’Leary said that a one-time temporary password is needed to log in and authorize the application. The option for this is available at the Twitter applications page.

O’Leary said the new login verification is based on Twitter via SMS, a feature introduced in 2006, and will allow more security upgrades for the platform in future releases.

During the past few months, Twitter users had been pushing the company to use new security techniques such as two-step verification, largely attributed to the string of hack attacks on Twitter accounts of major organizations and prominent individuals such as the BBC, the Financial Times, Burger King, and Donald Trump.

Twitter is still rolling out the login verification system to countries worldwide. Some telecoms carrier may not yet be supported as of this writing. (I tried all means for it to work here in the Philippines but failed.)

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A coffee junkie who spends most of his time writing about the latest news on social media and mobile technology. I would definitely consider myself a nerd (in the coolest most hipster way possible). That being said, I love technology, music, writing, and all things mobile.

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