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Access Control

Prevent a hack attack with Twitter's new two-factor authentication

After a series of high-profile hackings, Twitter has finally introduced two-factor authentication.

Twitter on Wednesday said users will now be able to protect their accounts by registering a phone number and e-mail address. This isn't automatic: You have to select, "Require a verification code when I sign in," on your Account Settings page.

Once you add a phone number and e-mail address, Twitter will verify your identity by sending an SMS text with a six-digit code you have to enter to complete the process.

Once you finish authentication, that's it. Anyone who tries to access your account from an unauthorized application will be denied. If you want to get into your account from a new app, you can just head on over to your apps page to get a temporary password so you can authorize the new app.

News organizations and fast food restaurants have fallen victim to Twitter hacks in recent months. Calls for two-factor authentication increased after the Associated Press's account was compromised and hackers tweeted about explosions at the White House.

Other social networks such as Facebook have stepped up their own security efforts in the wake of the hackings. Facebook already offers log-in verification, but earlier this month introduced a Trusted Contacts feature so your best friends can help you get back into your account (with the help of a code) after a breach.

Jim O'Leary, head of Twitter's product security team, wrote in a Wednesday blog post that this is just the first step, so "stay tuned" for "more account security enhancements in the future."

The Onion just breathed a sigh of relief.

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IDG News Service

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