How-to Activate Two-factor Authentication
Here’s how to find and enable 2FA settings on eight major websites you might use in connection with your small business. Remember: many sites use slightly different terminology, such as "two-step verification." Also, each of the following headings links to a page with detailed information about how 2FA works for that site or service.
Head over to the My Apple ID page, click Password and Security in the left margin, then click Get Started under Two-Step Verification. You’ll proceed through some caveats (such as the fact that your security questions will no longer apply and Apple won’t be able to reset your password), and then you can define trusted devices that can receive codes. Your options include either iOS devices with Find My Phone enabled or any SMS-capable phone. Apple may make you wait three days to enable two-step verification if you recently made changes to your account information.
Go to your account security settings and look for the "2-Step Verification" option to activate the feature. Choose to receive codes via SMS or the Google Authenticator app, and create app-specific passwords, if necessary.
Log into your Microsoft account, click Security & Password in the left margin, then look for Two-step verification and click Set up two-step verification. If you’ve previously registered your phone number with Microsoft, you may be required to verify your identity via your phone or an email address before you can change your security settings (which itself is 2FA).
As it happens, some of Microsoft’s products don’t support secondary security codes—including the desktop version of Microsoft Outlook and Windows Phone 8, so you’ll need special passwords for them. (See here for details on how to set up passwords for various Microsoft products and services.)
LastPass doesn’t do 2FA via SMS text messaging, but it does support a number of authenticator apps, including Google Authenticator. To use that app, start here, otherwise see the link above for instructions on how to set it up using other apps. If you have a LastPass Premium subscription, you have the option of using methods that support authentication via USB thumbdrive, smart cards, or a fingerprint.
Log into the service, click your icon at the upper-right of the page, then click Review next to Privacy & Settings. Then click Accoun, and, finally, Manage security settings. Under Two-step verification for sign-in, click Turn On and enter your phone number. As of this writing, LinkedIn doesn’t support authenticator apps, and it doesn’t support app passwords, which is why the service warns you that some LinkedIn applications will not be available when 2FA is turned on.
PayPal calls its version of 2FA Secuirty Key, and you can click that link to turn set it up. You can either use your mobile phone to receive codes, or if you feel like springing for $30, get a credit-card size hardware token that generates codes at the push of a button.
Visit your account security settings, and then look for Login verification at the top of the page. You can get your codes by SMS text or use Twitter’s own mobile app (iOS or Android only) as your authenticator. You can also set up 2FA directly from the mobile app—find the Settings menu, tap your name, then Security.
Joseph Moran is a veteran technology writer and co-author of Getting StartED with Windows 7, from Friends of ED.
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