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If you haven’t updated the security settings on your Twitter account yet, the clock is ticking.
This was announced by Elon Musk’s social network last month that it will remove access to SMS-based two-factor authentication (2FA) from users who don’t pay for the company’s $8-per-month Twitter Blue subscription.
Users who have 2FA set up have until Monday, March 20 to either sign up for Twitter Blue to keep SMS 2FA or disable it and set up 2FA using a third-party authentication app.
Fortunately, changing your 2FA settings is a quick, easy, and free process that won’t take you more than a few minutes. Here’s what you need to know to make sure your Twitter account is secure.
Basically, 2FA is an extra security measure that protects your account from being hacked. It requires a user to verify their identity with not only their password, but another authentication method, such as a code sent via SMS to their phone.
This means that even if a bad actor figured out your password and tried to get into your account, they would still have to go an extra step before they could get in.
Ever since Elon Musk bought Twitter last year, the company has been cutting costs wherever it can. The 2FA change is a result of Musk claiming in a tweet that fraudsters were costing the company $60 million a year with fake SMS charges.
On the company’s Official site In detailing the announcement, Twitter said it is ending phone number-based 2FA because it has been “used — and abused — by bad actors.”
Changing your 2FA settings is easy. First, you want to go to the settings page of your Twitter app or on the desktop page and select “security and account access.” From there, select the “security” option and follow the prompts to get to the 2FA page.
For most people, especially mobile users, the easiest option will be to set up 2FA using an authentication app. Popular and trusted apps include Google Authenticator, Duo Mobile, and Twilio’s Authy.
Once you’ve downloaded the app of your choice, follow the instructions on Twitter to link it to your account. Once that is done, your account is ready.
If you haven’t updated your settings by March 20th, don’t worry, you won’t lose access to your account. But it becomes less secure when Twitter automatically disables your text-based 2FA.
Although you will still be able to use Twitter, your account will be more vulnerable to being taken over by anyone who gains access to your account information.
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