Recently, my laptop got hacked! As I use my laptop to access my bank accounts, online brokers and what not from it, I freaked out. After the adrenaline rush, I started to think of ways to get myself some extra security.
Bank accounts are naturally protected – people cannot really transfer money from their accounts without having another key (other than the password on the online platform) or confirming a code provided via SMS. This is called “two-step verification”. The principle is simple: in order to access one of your accounts, you must use something you know (such as your password) and something you have (such as your cell).
Other accounts (e.g. email) only rely on a single password (…that many people often re–use among all their accounts).
My most import accounts are Amazon (Affiliate link), Google and online brokers. I eventually activated a two-step verification method they have. However, as I haven’t found a tutorial with all this info, I decided to make a post on this.
Step #1 – Authentication app
Your first step is to install an authentication app, if you want to have an app as your second security layer (alternatively you can choose SMS). I am currently using Google Authenticator. Simply install it on your cell.
Step #2 – Configure your Amazon account
Go to your account settings:
and click on “Login & Security Settings”:
Before you enable the two-step verification, keep in mind that:
- You can enable the Two-step verification using an SMS or an Authentication app.
- The next time you login into Amazon, you’ll need to enter the code that Amazon (Affiliate link) sent you on an SMS or a code generated by the Authentication app, depending on what you chose.
- Amazon will also ask you to provide a backup phone number in case you can’t use the two-step verification anymore.
- The two-step verification won’t be required every single time you access Amazon (Affiliate link) be skip if you use the same laptop you use to access Amazon.
OK, so now you can activate it:
by simply selecting “Get started”. After, choose between SMS and Authenticator App:
if you choose the Authenticator App, you’ll have to add a backup method (e.g. SMS) just so you can access your account no matter what. After this… you are done!
Most big online services and companies offering two step verification include Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, Google (gmail), Hotmail and Apple.