While following good account practices such as using strong passwords, taking advantage of a password manager to create complex and unique passwords for different accounts, and avoiding the use of dictionary passwords, ensures your account security to a greater extent, there are instances when even accounts with strong passwords pose a risk of account compromise. For such instances, having another layer of security on your account (say, Two-Factor Authentication), in addition to a strong password, further ensures that your account is less susceptible to attacks. So, to help you do that here’s a guide on how to enable Two-Factor Authentication across different social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Two-Factor Authentication or 2FA also referred to as Two-Step Authentication, is a type of Multi-Factor Authentication method that requires users to enter an extra factor (or key) besides their account password to authenticate them and grant them access to their account. Generally speaking, the combination that often works with 2FA includes one factor that is something you know and a second factor that is either something you have or something you are. Talking about the second factor, something you have can be as simple as your mobile phone or a hardware key, whereas something you are can be your biometrics. To give you an example, a second factor that relies on something you have can be your mobile device with a 2FA code generator app, an SMS app (for OTPs), or even a hardware security key (or fob). On the other hand, a second factor that relies on something you are could use your biometrics (face, iris, fingerprint, etc) to authenticate you on your account.
Now that you have some idea of what Two-Factor Authentication is, and how it can help you to increase the security of your account, let’s look at how to enable it on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. For this tutorial, we will use Google’s Authenticator app to generate codes and then use them to authenticate your access. So, if you are an Android or iOS user, the first thing you need to do is download the Authenticator app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Once done, follow the steps below to enable 2FA across different social platforms.
How to Enable Two-Factor Authentication on Facebook
Enable 2FA on Facebook on Android/iOS
1. Open the Facebook app on your device and log in.
2. Tap on the hamburger menu on the bottom-right, scroll down to Settings & Privacy and expand it using the downward-pointing arrow on the right.
3. Select Settings and tap on Security and login under the Security section.
4. On the next page, scroll down to find the Two-factor authentication section and tap on Use two-factor authentication.
5. Under Select a security method, tap on the Authentication app and hit Continue.
6. Now, tap on Set up on the same device under the QR code.
7. Next, you will be prompted to Add token on your device, tap YES.
8. Once it is added, go back to the Facebook app and enter the 6-digit code you see on the Authentication app.
9. Hit Continue.
Enable Facebook 2FA on Web
1. Go to Facebook and log in to your account.
2. Click on the downward-pointing arrow on top and select Settings.
3. Now, from the left pane, select Security and login.
4. Here, scroll down to the section that says Two-factor authentication and tap on the Edit button next to Use two-factor authentication.
5. On the next page, select the Authentication app under Select a security method.
6. Now, open the Authenticator app on your device (Android/iOS) and tap on the + button on the top.
7. Point the device and adjust the viewfinder to align with the QR code on your computer.
8. Once done, hit Confirm and enter the 6-digit code from your mobile in the Enter confirmation code window on the computer.
9. Hit Confirm.
How to Enable Two-Factor Authentication on Instagram
Enable Instagram 2FA on Android/iOS
1. Open Instagram and login to your account if you aren’t already.
2. Tap on the Profile icon on the bottom right and click on the hamburger menu on the top right.
3. Select Settings and go to Security.
4. Now, select Two-factor authentication under the Login security section.
5. Tap Get Started and on the Choose your security method page, toggle the button next to the Authentication app.
6. On the next screen, hit Next, and the app will prompt you to Add token. Tap YES.
7. Now, go back to Instagram and enter the code you see on the Authenticator app and hit Done.
Enable Instagram 2FA on Web
Instagram currently does not offer the option to enable Two-Factor Authentication on the Web.
How to Enable Two-Factor Authentication on Twitter
Enable Twitter 2FA on Android/iOS
1. Open the Twitter app on your device and log in.
2. Tap on your image icon on the top-left and select Settings and privacy from the option below.
3. Here, go into Account and tap on Security under Login and security.
4. Now, tap on Two-factor authentication and toggle the button next to the Authentication app.
5. On the next screen, tap on Start, enter your account password and hit Verify.
6. Next, click on the Link app now button and on the prompt that says Add token, tap on YES.
7. Finally, go back to the Twitter app and enter the 6-digit verification code you see on the Authentication app.
8. Hit Verify.
Enable Twitter 2FA on Web
1. Go to Twitter and log in to your account.
2. From the left menu, tap on More and select Settings and privacy.
3. Under the Settings section, tap on Account and on the right-pane, select Security.
4. From here, tap on Two-factor authentication.
5. On the next screen, check the box next to the Authentication app and tap on Start.
6. Here, enter your account password and click Verify.
7. Now, open the Authenticator app on your device (Android/iOS) and click on the + icon on top-right and select Scan barcode.
8. Point the device to the computer and align the camera with the QR code appearing on the screen.
9. Once scanned, tap Next on the computer and on the next page, enter the 6-digit code that appears on the Authenticator app on your device.
10. Hit Verify.
You should now see Two-factor Authentication set up on your social accounts. The Google Authenticator app will now generate a random and unique 6-digit token (code) every 30 seconds. So, every time you log in to one of your accounts (with 2FA enabled), you will be asked to enter the code from the Authenticator app. Once you enter the code, you will be granted access to your account. However, do note that the token changes every 30 seconds, so you should enter it instantly to avoid failed attempts. Further, in case you decide to move to a new phone, you will be required to move the Google Authenticator app to the new device for it to continue working on your accounts.