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by John W. Simek, Vice President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc.
Twitter Users Suffering 2FA Anxiety
February 21, 2023
By now, you’ve probably heard that the sky is falling. Not. Twitter announced it will disable SMS text two-factor authentication (2FA) for users that do not pay to be a Twitter Blue subscriber on March 20, 2023. Friday, Twitter supported tweeted, “To be clear, two-factor authentication is still not required to log into Twitter, although we highly encourage users to enable it. This change just restricts the 2FA methods available for accounts not subscribed to Twitter Blue.” Despite the overreaction of Twitter users, there are other alternatives.
The Verge posted more details about the announcement. As readers may know, SMS text messages are the least secure of the 2FA methods. We have long encouraged using an alternate method for MFA (e.g. authentication app, push notifications, etc.) instead of text messages if available. In Twitter’s case, you can use an authentication app or a security token. Unless you already own one, you’re probably not going to run out and purchase a security key just to use Twitter. Our suggestion is to use an authentication app (Authy, Google Authenticator, Duo, Microsoft Authenticator, etc.). To change your Twitter authentication method, follow these steps.
- Open the platform’s desktop site, as you can’t use the Twitter app to set up an authentication app as a form of 2FA on the platform.
- Hit the three dots icon in the sidebar on the left side of the screen, and choose Settings and Support > Settings and Privacy.
- Click Security and account access > Security > Two-factor authentication.
- Choose Authentication app, and enter your password if prompted.
- Hit Get Started to pass through the first window, and you’ll see a QR code pop up on your screen.
- Open the authenticator app on your phone, select the app’s QR code scanner, and scan the code on your screen. This will link your account to your authenticator app.
- When you’re finished, turn back to Twitter. Hit Next, enter the code that your app generates, and select Confirm.
- On the next screen, Twitter will provide you with a single-use backup code; make sure to hang onto it in case you lose access to your phone or authentication app.