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At long last, Twitter is finally rolling out support for two-factor authentication without requiring a phone number. Twitter said it was “working on improving” its reliance on phone numbers back in September, and now the improved two-factor authentication options are rolling out to users.

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In 2017, Twitter added support for using code generating applications for two-factor authentication. But up until now, users were still required to add a phone number to their Twitter account as a fall back method of authentication.

Starting today, Twitter is rolling out the ability to secure your account with two-factor authentication, without also supplying a phone number. What this means is that you can use a mobile security app, such as Authy or Google Authenticator, to generate two-factor authentication codes, without supplying Twitter with a phone number of any sort for fall back.

Unfortunately, the implementation still isn’t perfect with security keys. A Twitter engineer explains that if you use a security key such as Yubikey, you’re still required to have a second method of authentication such as SMS or a two-factor application. This is because security keys are not supported outside of the web version of Twitter:

Currently we require you to have a second method along with security keys since the latter isn’t currently supported outside web. If you’d like to disable sms, you need to also have a mobile security app. We know this might not be ideal but we’re going to keep working on it!

Here’s how to set-up two-factor authentication on your Twitter account via the web:

  1. Click the three dots in the sidebar on Twitter.com
  2. Click ‘Settings and Privacy’
  3. Click ‘Account’
  4. Click ‘Security’
  5. Click ‘Two-factor authentication’

Now, you can pick between text message, authentication app, and security key options for two-factor. And here’s how to remove your phone number from your Twitter profile:

  1. Click the three dots in the sidebar on Twitter.com
  2. Click ‘Settings and Privacy’
  3. Click ‘Account’
  4. Click ‘Security’
  5. Click ‘Phone’
  6. Click ‘Delete phone number’

Using a security key or authentication app two-factor is inherently more secure than SMS due to the growing prevalence of SIM swapping. Additionally, last month, Twitter disclosed that it “unintentionally” used two-factor phone numbers for advertising targeting.

While Twitter’s implementation still isn’t perfect, it’s certainly nice to see the company making significant strides in this area.

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