The traditional online account has a username and a password. This method is much easier to hack, especially when the same password is used for many sites(I still do this). The difference with two-step verification is adding a password that you don't choose, aka a one-time password. It can be sent to you via text message (SMS) or it could be a code that is changing via an application (pictured right).
You might have heard about two-step verification (sometimes called two-factor authentication - 2FA), but chances are you don't know much about it or you haven't taken the time to set it up. Let's change that! I have seen too many Facebook and email accounts get hacked. Don't be next!
There are different ways to have two-step verification on Facebook, Google and others:
- Receive a text message or voice call with a one-time password (OTP). This is usually pretty easy to setup. This requires a cell phone that receives texts (SMS).
- Google Authenticator Application: I use Google Authenticator for most websites and applications. Click here for the WikiPedia page that shows all websites and apps that can use Google Authenticator. You'll need a smartphone or tablet for this method.
- Your Google account can even be protected with a USB key. I have not purchased a U2F key, but it seems like a pretty cool concept. Here is the Google support information on this method.
- Facebook tutorial
- Google help
- Apple ID information
- Twitter has 2FA built in to the phone application
- Snapchat help
- Extensive list of websites that use 2FA (two-step verification)