Over the past few years, billions of accounts have been compromised as shown in a data breach search website Have I Been Pwned, which is maintained by Troy Hunt, a Microsoft Regional Director.
Using a secure and unique password for your account helps reduce the risk of your account being hacked, but usernames and passwords alone are not enough. Do a step further with two-factor authentication (2FA) if you need to strengthen security of your accounts.
Instead of using SMS for 2FA, there are a few apps that generate codes on your mobile phone to verify your account when you log in. Google Authenticator is one of them that generate verification codes without a data connection. It works with many other providers and accounts besides the Google Account.
To enable 2FA for supported sites, the steps are quite simple and similar among the providers. Take Dropbox for example.
Steps to enable Dropbox’s 2FA with Google Authenticator
- After signing into Dropbox, click your avatar, choose settings and select the Security tab;
- Toggle "Two-step verification" to "On", click "Get started" and re-enter your password;
- Choose "Use a mobile app" to receive your security codes.
- Use Google Authenticator to scan the barcode provided by Dropbox.
- Enter the 6-digit code generated by Google Authenticator to enable two-step verification in Dropbox.
That is it. The next time when you log in to Dropbox, you will need to enter a 6-digit code from Google Authenticator for verification.
To get a list of popular sites whether they accept two-factor authentication, go to Two Factor Auth. Choose a category and find out if 2FA by SMS, phone call, email, hardware and software tokens are supported by the sites.
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This article is maintained by volunteer editor Jojo Yee. Registered members can contact the editor with comments or suggestions by clicking here.