doin’ the two-step (authentication)

A couple of weeks ago, I logged in to my personal email and found that I had requested that my Facebook password be changed. Except, I had not. Of course I quickly used the link that tells fb, no way, don’t change my password, and then I set about cleaning house and updating my password both to my Facebook account and to my personal email account. Along the way,  I let my fb friends know what had happened, and it brought about some discussion of what constitutes a safe password, how you keep it safe, and so on. My friends had good suggestions and food for thought. Here is a blog post by Facecrooks that you might find helpful in making your Facebook experience more secure: How To Lockdown Your Facebook Account for Maximum Privacy and Security.

There are instructors out there exploring Facebook, Dropbox, Google Plus and more as productivity and/or teaching resources. While those instructors may not want to “lock down” their profile or information, they may wish to make it more secure, or think about how and with whom they would like to share.

One of the options available in some cases is two-step authentication, a method for ensuring that you know when someone tries to access your account on a computer or device that is not recognized. It can be very helpful. Here’s how it works: The first time you login after setup, you will be sent a unique passcode via your cell phone (or an app accessible wherever you have it set up). You are able to name the device and have it recognized for subsequent logins. If someone is trying to login to your account from their own computer, you see evidence via the passcode notification … but the person trying to get into your account won’t have access to it and therefore will not be able to login. It’s just one more item that can help you be a little more secure.

Sure, it’s a bit of a pain when you first login after setting it up. If you access via multiple devices, every first-time login will require that you retrieve that passcode. But once that’s done, you are all set.

Where to find it?

  • In Facebook:  Account Settings>Notifications>Login Approvals
  • In Google Plus:  Account>Security>2-step verification
  • Dropbox:  Settings>Security>Two-step verification (you will have to scroll down to the bottom of the page to find it)

There are others, but the path will be very similar.

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