Learn About Two-Step Verification and Which Services Use It

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A lot of online services have announced recently that they’re introducing two-step or two-factor verification for their users. It all started when Google implemented the security feature into their Google services, but what exactly is two-step verification?

Two-step verification solves a very old problem with computer security. If a hacker gained access to a user’s password that they were using across multiple accounts, they could string together their hacks by sending password resets to alternate email accounts. Two-step verification solves this in an ingenious way. There are a few ways to implement two-step verification.

The simplest way, like LinkedIn’s two-step verification or Twitter’s two-step verification, is to send a text message to a user’s phone every time that account is signed in from a new device. If the correct code is not entered, the account cannot be accessed from that computer. That way, hackers have to have access to the user’s phone as well to hack their account, which is highly unlikely.

Google and Facebook use a more secure method of two-step verification. If you have a smartphone, Google or Facebook’s two-step verification installs an app on your phone that generates a new access code at timed intervals of around a minute. Instead of getting a text message when a new device accesses the account, the person trying to sign in is prompted to use the current security code, which will not work again for the account. This method of two-step verification is more secure.

Computer repair experts highly recommend enabling two-step verification if you have a phone with texting. It’s much more secure and highly reduces the chances of you getting hacked. We’ve included the links to a number of popular services with two-step verification to help you out:
Google Two-Step Verification
Facebook Two-Step Verification
Dropbox Two-Step Verification
Microsoft Two-Step Verification
Yahoo Two-Step Verification
Twitter Two-Step Verification

About The Author: Andrea Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, a computer repair company that specializes in on-site and online service for homes and businesses. Andrea is the writer of a weekly column, Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight. She prepares TV segments for and appears regularly on CBS, CW and FOX on shows such as Good Day Sacramento, More Good Day Portland, and CBS 13 News, offering viewers technology and lifestyle tips. See Andrea in action at callnerds.com/andrea/.