Twitter announced today that it now supports two-factor authentication for better security. Instead of just entering your password like usual, you can optionally add a second step: your phone.
If you’re trying to log in to Twitter, you’ll have to enter your password–like usual–and then a verification code that’s sent to your phone as a text. This second step makes it much harder for someone to hack your Twitter account.
Ironically, enabling 2-factor authentication in Twitter takes more like 13 steps, but we’ve got you covered.
Follow these steps to turn on 2-step authentication in Twitter:
1. Log in to your Twitter account.
2. Hit the gear icon on the top right corner of the screen to open your user menu, then click “Settings.”
3. On the Settings page, under the Account tab, scroll down until you see an option that says “Require a verification code when I sign in.”
If you’ve already associated a phone with Twitter, skip to step 7. Otherwise, keep reading.
4. Click the “add a phone” link to open a new page where you’ll be prompted to select your country from the drop-down menu and enter your mobile phone number. When you’re done, hit the “Activate Phone” button.
5. The screen will change and prompt you to text “GO” to 40404. Get out your mobile phone and do it.
6. Once you send the text, you’ll get a reply on your phone from Twitter confirming activation:
7. On Twitter, you’ll see a bunch of new phone-related privacy and notification preferences. We recommend unchecking the box next to “Let others find me by my phone number.”
8. Now that you’ve added your phone, head back to Twitter’s account settings and scroll down to “Require a verification code when I sign in.” Check the box.
9. A window will pop up that says “Verify your phone can receive messages.” Hit “Okay, send me a message.”
10. Check your texts. You should have gotten one from Twitter that says “Twitter can send verification codes to this device!” If so, go back to Twitter and you’ll see a new window asking “Did you receive our message?” Hit the “Yes” button.
11. Enter your Twitter password to confirm the changes, and you’ll be returned to your Settings page where you’ll see a banner saying “Thanks, your settings have been saved.”
12. To see how your new 2-factor authentication works, log out of your Twitter account, then enter your username and password to sign back in. You’ll now see a new screen asking for a verification code.
13. Check your text messages for a numerical code, then enter it on Twitter and hit “Submit.” You’re in!
2-factor authentication can get tricky when you use other apps to access Twitter, like Hootsuite or another third-party Twitter tool, because you’ll have to create app-specific login verifications. Twitter provides the details in its support documentation.
For more Twitter privacy and security tips, check out our free e-book, The Ultimate Guide to Twitter Privacy.