Accounts hijacking is very rampant nowadays, and many persons still don’t know how to protect their account. Keeping these imposters at bay is quite hard and despite tools made available by different platforms to help users.
This is usually because most of the users have no idea of how to use these tools, aside from usual username and passwords combinations that people use they have no idea that other security options (two-factor authentication – 2FA) exist.
There are various ways we expose our accounts to breaches. This usually involves using a weak password combination, granting permissions to almost any app that request access to our profiles, using a consistent password across different social platforms and also not changing our passwords regularly.
These hackers are not going to slow down any time soon, and the last Facebook breach that affected over 50 million accounts is all the proof you need. Identity theft is real and valued at over $107 billion in just six years. The rise of cryptocurrency has also increased theft.
When someone has control of your account, you can be in big trouble especially if the perpetrator uses your identity to spread misinformation or make divisive political or religious statements.
In order to ensure trust is maintained and financial and reputational loss is minimised, we should all use 2 Factor Authentication.
What Is 2FA (2 Factor Authentication)?
For beginners, 2FA is an extra level of protection designed to keep hackers off your accounts even if they manage to get your usernames and passwords. In order words, it is an extra level of security that is designed to make you verify your identity before you can access your accounts.
The means of authentication can be a number (One Time Password – OTP) sent to your phone number or a voice call, a piece of hardware token, a software installed on your phone, a simple notification on your device screen that you need to confirm (mostly used by Google) or even a biometric identification.
While the most common form of 2FA is the text message authentication, it has been proven to be the least secure form of 2FA as the messages can be intercepted thus many organisations have stopped using them.
Biometric authentications happens to be the most secured type of 2FA, but the thought of using it is getting scary as you can not change your fingerprints. Once a biometric hacker gets hold of it, you are done for.
Software authentication is the most popular form of 2FA as it uses a time-based one-time password. This is usually preferred as the app is installed on your device which you mostly carry along with you all the time and the app can be passworded too.
The best part of it is that it can work offline to prevent any form of message hijacking.
How To Secure Your Accounts Using 2FA (Software Authentications)?
Since SMS authentications can be bypassed, it will be wise to use Software authentication. In order to keep hackers at bay, we will be using 2FA software Authy.
I choose Authy since it supports multiple devices and automatically syncs with any device you authorize if you need it, something Google Authenticator lacks. If you lose your device, simply get a new one and log in to get access to all your accounts.
Also, Authy works on any site that supports Google Authenticator and also, Google Authenticator is limited to mobile devices. There is also the secured cloud backup (optional) that Google Authenticator lacks. You can check if a site/platform supports 2FA here.
Download for Android| Download for iOS | Download for Windows 64 bit | Download for Windows 32 bit | Download for MacOs | Download for chrome
Install and Open the Authy app and set up account plus verification. Click on the plus sign to add an account, set up a secure backup password and click on scan QR code
How To Use Authy 2FA for Facebook?
The steps for setting up two factor authentication on Facebook using Authy are;
- Log in to your Facebook account and go to Settings.
- Choose Security and Login tab at the top left.
- Scroll To Two-factor authentication > Click Edit.
- In the two-factor authentication page, click get started
- Select Authentication app from the options
- Use your Authy app to scan the QR code or copy the code to the Authy app (to use copied code choose set up manually)
- This will display your Facebook account name, touch ok to generate One Time Password (Authy token)
- Type the one time password on the box provided by Facebook
How To Use Authy 2FA for Twitter?
The steps for setting up two factor authentication on Twitter using are;
- Log in to your Twitter account, click your profile icon, then click Settings and privacy.
- Click on the Account tab. Under Security and next to Login verification, click the Setup login verification button to get started.
- In the pop-up window, after reading how log-in verification works, click Start.
- Enter your Twitter password and click Verify
- Next, you’ll need to enter a phone number associated with your Twitter account. Then click Send Code.
- Twitter sends you a code via SMS. Enter it in the space provided on the next screen.
- At this point, you will be presented with a backup code. Print it out and keep it safe.
- Click on Review your login verification methods in the Security section of your Twitter
- account page (going back to step 2).
- To set up 2Fa via Authy, click on set up next to Mobile Security App.
- On the next pop-up click Start.
- Next, you’ll see a pop-up window displaying a QR code. Launch Authy on your phone while you leave this page open.
- On your device’s Authy app, Click Add Account at the bottom of the screen.
- You’ll be prompted to hold your phone up to your computer to capture the Twitter QR code. Click Scan QR Code
- If successful, you will be asked to confirm the Twitter logo on your device. Click Done.
- Type in the Authy token generated on the verification code textbox
- You are all set! Authy 2FA is now enabled for your Twitter account.
Next Step is to Disable the SMS feature
- From Account, Under the Login Verification click on Edit in front of the Text Message option
Then click off and save changes, to turn off SMS-based 2FA.
For Images on the tutorial, click here
How To Set Up Authy For Gmail?
The steps for setting up two factor authentication on Gmail using Authy are;
- Log in to your Gmail account, go to My Account (or Google Account)
Choose Sign-in & Security tab.
Click Signing in to Google.
Select 2-Step Verification.
On 2-Step Verification Welcome Page click Get started!
Enter your phone number and select a method to get codes (SMS)> click Next.
You receive an SMS on your phone with a code.
Enter the verification code to confirm that it worked click Next.
Click on Turn on
- Now, To Set Up The App, return to the “Signing in to Google“
Under Set Up Alternative Second Step, click the Set Up under Authenticator App
Select your kind of phone > click Next and this will bring you to a QR Code
On your phone, open Authy and click on Plus Button To Add Account if you haven’t done that and Scan the QR Code
Click Done on your phone to confirm that Google’s logo is right.
On Your PC, click next to move from the QR Page
Enter the 6 Digit token generated by the Auhy App on the textbox
For more information with images check Authy guide here
To Set Up 2FA on Instagram Using Authy App?
While Authy is not listed among the apps supported by Instagram, Google Authenticator app is listed. The good news is, any app or site that supports Google Authenticator automatically supports Authy.
Nowtoo set up two factor authentication on Instagram:
- Go To Your profile
- Open Menu and select Settings
- Scroll down and Choose “Two Factor Authentication
- Tap Get STarted
- Choose and Turn on Authentication App
- Touch set up manually
- Copy the key generated (there is a copy button)
- Go to Authy App and select Add Account from the menu > Tap Enter Key Manually > Type In Account Name e.g My Instagram > Copy Token Generated (there is a copy botton too) and head back to Instagram app
- Tap Next to move to token page and tap and hold to Paste the token
- Confirm and You are Done
- Save The Recovery Tokens to complete
How To Turn On Authy For Binance?
In order to make any withdrawals from your Binance account, you are required to set up two-factor authentication.
Each time you sign in you will be reminded to enable 2FA.
- Under two factor authentication, Locate Google Authentication and click enable
- On the download app page, ignore the Download and Install Google Authentication App (You already have Authy) by clicking Next Step
- On the next screen, there is a QR Code to be scanned. Open the Authy app and select Add Account and scan the QR code (You can choose to enter key manually if Authy is installed on your PC)
- You will now see a Binance 2FA account in your Authy app.
- Back on your Binance page, you’ll be prompted to make note of your 16-digit alpha-numeric backup code. Copy this down and keep it safe, you will need it if you ever lose your device. Once copied, click Next Step.
- To complete setup, you must re-enter:
- your 16 digit key
your Binance log-in password
and the Binance 2FA key from your Authy device
When completed, click Enable Google Authentication.
Your Binance account will now show that you have enabled two-factor authentication.
NOTE: The tokens are time based and changes within 25-30 seconds. Also, the Authy App and the account you are trying to set up must be in the same time zone else the verification will fail.