Twitter has announced an important change to how it handles two-factor authentication for new logins on its service. Twitter now lets you use third-party apps for two-factor authentication as an alternative to SMS.
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SMS, or text message based codes, is generally considered inferior in terms of security to third-party apps that support two-factor authentication. SMS being a carrier specific service can also affect users traveling internationally when using two-factor security.
Twitter says it will still rely on SMS for logins by default, but it lays out instructions below for using third-party apps as an alternative:
- In the top menu, tap your profile icon, then tap Settings and privacy.
- Tap Account, then tap Security.
- Drag the slider next to Security app to receive a code via a separate app.
- Read instructions and tap Start.
- Enter your password and tap Verify.
- Start the set up process by tapping Set up now.
- Follow the set up process instructions. Note: If you already have an authenticator app installed, you’ll see a message to confirm allowing Twitter to be added.
- You’ll see a Try it now message. Generate a code through the third-party app, enter it, and tap Verify.
- Now, through the third-party app, you can view and use codes for login verification.
For more on this change, visit Twitter’s security support site.