If you haven’t updated your Twitter security settings yet, time is running out.
Elon Musk’s social network announced last month that it will remove access to two-factor authentication (2FA) via SMS to users who don’t pay for the company’s $8-a-month Twitter Blue subscription.
Users who have 2FA set up have until Monday, March 20 to sign up for Twitter Blue to retain SMS 2FA or opt out and set up 2FA using a third-party authenticator 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.
What is two-factor authentication?
Basically, 2FA is an additional security measure protecting your account from intrusion. It requires a user to confirm their identity not only with their password, but also with a second method of authentication, such as a code texted to their phone.
This means that even if a bad actor guessed your password and tried to access your account, they would still have to go through an extra step before they could gain access.
Why is Twitter getting rid of it?
Since Elon Musk acquired Twitter last year, the company has cut costs wherever it can. The 2FA change is the result, with Musk claiming in a tweet that the scammers were costing the company $60 million a year with bogus text message charges.
On the society Official page detailing the announcement, Twitter said it was discontinuing phone number-based 2FA because it has been “used — and abused — by bad actors.”
How can I change my two-factor authentication settings?
Changing your 2FA settings is easy. First, you’ll want to head to your Twitter app’s settings page or desktop site and select “security and account access.” From there, select the “security” option and follow the instructions to access the 2FA page.
For most people, especially mobile users, the easiest option will be to set up 2FA using an authenticator 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 done, your account is ready.
What happens if I don’t change my security settings?
If you haven’t updated your settings by March 20, don’t worry, you won’t lose access to your account. But it will become less secure when Twitter automatically disables your text-based 2FA.
Although you can still use Twitter, your account will be more likely to be taken over by anyone with access to your account credentials.
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