How to: se­cure your Twit­ter ac­count

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Gadgets -

EVER re­ceived Twit­ter ad­vice about a blog be­smirch­ing your char­ac­ter, or a friend ad­vis­ing you how to lose 20kg in a week? If so, there’s a good chance your friend’s Twit­ter ac­count has been hacked. The rate at which Twit­ter ac­counts are be­ing com­pro­mised is in­creas­ing, caus­ing the so­cial net­work to de­vise a new way to se­cure your pro­file. It’s called two-fac­tor au­then­ti­ca­tion and it’s easy to set up.



Twit­ter calls this new sys­tem ‘‘lo­gin ver­i­fi­ca­tion’’ and it’s an op­tion listed in each ac­count’s set­tings. To en­able it, users must open set­tings, scroll down to ‘‘Ac­count Se­cu­rity’’, and se­lect the box be­side the ‘‘Re­quire a ver­i­fi­ca­tion code when I sign in’’ op­tion. Users must reg­is­ter a mo­bile phone num­ber to use the ser­vice. Twit­ter will send six-digit ver­i­fi­ca­tion codes to this phone num­ber each time you log in to the ser­vice to en­sure an ac­count is be­ing used by its right­ful owner. The new se­cu­rity sys­tem only af­fects users when they log in to Twit­ us­ing a web browser, so the Twit­ter apps you use reg­u­larly on phones and tablets won’t re­quire pass­codes. If an app re­quires users to log in again for some rea­son, a tem­po­rary pass­word can be gen­er­ated by vis­it­ing the ac­count’s ‘‘Ap­pli­ca­tions’’ set­tings on the web.


Un­for­tu­nately, Twit­ter’s two-fac­tor ver­i­fi­ca­tion isn’t yet avail­able for all Aus­tralian users. While Tel­stra phone num­bers can be used with this new ser­vice, Op­tus and Voda­fone num­bers are not com­pat­i­ble car­ri­ers.


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