Losing SMS authentication on Twitter? Here's how to keep your account secure for free

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Apr 24, 2016
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Twitter currently offers its users two-factor authentication (2FA) to secure their accounts. If this feature is enabled, users will need to provide another authentication factors aside from their username and password to verify their identity. 2FA is available through SMS, authentication apps, and security keys.

Just recently, however, Twitter announced that it will no longer offer everyone SMS authentication on the microblogging platform, with the option only remaining available to its Twitter Blue subscribers. And by March 20, regular users who don't switch to a different 2FA method will have SMS authentication removed from their accounts.

In all honesty, we at Neowin don't really understand why Twitter would offer SMS authentication to paying subscribers, given that it is actually one of the weakest types of 2FA. Even the Twitter account of its former CEO Jack Dorsey was hacked before as a result of the weaknesses of SMS authentication.

So why would you actually offer an unsecure authentication method to only your paying customers? Wouldn't it make more sense to just ditch the method entirely? If it's because Twitter wants to increase its Blue subscribers, we're pretty sure that it can find a more compelling feature to advertise instead of SMS authentication.

Nonetheless, if you're one of the many users who were affected by Twitter's bizarre decision, you can still secure your account without subscribing to Twitter Blue through an authentication app. With this method, you can retrieve your authentication code through an app instead of your SMS inbox. SMS authentication uses an algorithm linked to your device to continually generate numerical codes that expire every 30 seconds, so it is more secure than SMS.
 

Orchid

Level 1
Jan 27, 2023
43
SMS for multi-factor authentication is very insecure. SMS multi-factor authentication has been like that for years. Hackers can easily intercept text message transmission or drop malware on a person's phone, which may grab their text messages and send them to the hacker. I am glad to see Twitter is dropping support for authenticating through SMS. I wish more businesses/companies would drop support for SMS multi-factor authentication and use something more secure. Maybe then, few to no accounts will get hacked.
 

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