Would you like to improve the security of your online accounts such as your AppleID, Gmail, FaceBook, PayPal and Dropbox accounts? If so, you should consider turning on two-step authentication for these accounts. Two-step authentication is also called two-factor authentication. Typically, two-factor authentication requires you to enter your password as well as a code sent to your cell phone. This increases security since accessing your account would require both knowledge of your password as well as possession of your cell phone. The downsides to two-factor authentication are that logging in to an account will be a bit slower with this second step required, you give up a bit of privacy by disclosing your cell phone number and you will need to have your cell phone with you. If your cell phone’s battery is drained or you’ve lost your phone, you wouldn’t be able to login until you get a replacement phone. Some companies, like Apple, let you list multiple cell phones when you set up two-factor authentication, so you might want to list your partner’s phone as well.
Apple recently added two-factor authentication for AppleID accounts. AppleID accounts are often also called iCloud accounts or iTunes accounts since they used in conjunction with both iTunes Store purchase and iCloud accounts. Apple provides answers to frequently asked questions as well as instructions on how to turn-on two-factor authentication.
If you’d like to set up two-factor authentication for other accounts, check out this CNET article which links you to instructions for setting up two-factor authentication for Yahoo, GMail, Facebook, Dropbox, PayPal and others. If you’d like to know whether you can secure some other online account, simply perform a Google search for the words two factor authentication followed by the name of the company, like Hotmail.