Twitter has removed two-factor authentication for non-Twitter Blue subscribers. This means that you either have to pay $8 per month for Twitter Blue or opt for another authentication method to secure your Twitter account from prying eyes.
On Friday, Twitter announced that it will no longer allow non-Twitter Blue subscribers to use text messages as a 2FA method after March 20, 2023. Current non-Twitter Blue subscribers who are already enrolled in SMS 2FA will have 30 days to disable this method and enroll in another. After that, the company will disable the said authentication service for non-Blue users.
While Twitter says that the decision comes as part of the company’s efforts to strengthen its security measures and protect its users from potential cyber abuse, the fact that sending SMS messages costs money and Twitter is in bad financial shape at the moment cannot be overlooked. Twitter encourages all its non-paying users to enable either the authentication app or security key method instead.
Twitter launched two-factor authentication in 2013, offering three ways to enable 2FA – text message, security key, and authentication app. While the text message method is being put behind the paywall, the other two methods are still free to use.
Authentication apps: You can use third-party apps such as Google Authenticator or Authy to generate time-based One-Time Passwords (OTP) that you will need to enter during the login process. These apps can be more secure than SMS 2FA as they don’t rely on the phone number and can be used even when you don’t have a cellular connection.
To start with this, select the app you want to use for authentication. Create an account in it and open its desktop version. Open Twitter and go to Settings>Settings and Support > Settings and Privacy> Security and account access > Security > Two-factor authentication. Choose the authentication app and enter your password when prompted. Tap Get Started and follow the instructions.
Security keys: Twitter supports physical security keys such as YubiKey, which provide an additional layer of security. Once configured, you’ll need to have your physical key present when you log in to your Twitter account. This one of the safest ways to secure your account because in this case the key itself is used to verify your account. However, you require a physical key in this case.
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