Twitter, starting March 20, 2023, will no longer be offering free SMS-based two-factor authentication (2FA). While this may come as a surprise to some users who have relied on SMS-based 2FA in the past, it’s important to understand why this change is being made and what alternative options are available.
Why is Twitter Discontinuing free SMS-based 2FA?
Twitter has made this decision in an effort to improve the overall security of its platform. SMS-based 2FA relies on text messages to deliver a unique code to users, which they then enter to authenticate their identity.
However, SMS-based 2FA is not considered as secure as other forms of 2FA. SMS messages can be intercepted or redirected by attackers, which could allow them to gain access to a user’s account. Additionally, phone numbers can be easily spoofed or stolen, which could put a user’s account at risk.
Alternative Options for Twitter SMS 2FA
Twitter is not getting rid of 2FA altogether. Instead, they are encouraging users to switch to more secure methods of 2FA. There are several alternative options available, including:
One of the most popular and secure alternatives to SMS-based 2FA is the use of authenticator apps. Authenticator apps generate a unique code that can be used when logging in. These codes are only valid for a short period of time, typically around 30 seconds.
Google Authenticator and Authy are two of the most popular authenticator apps available, and both are free to download and use.
To set up an authenticator app for your Twitter account, you’ll need to download the app from either the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and link it to your Twitter account. Once you’ve set it up, you’ll be prompted to enter a code generated by the app each time you log in on a new device.
Another secure option for 2FA is to use a physical security key. Security keys are small USB devices that you can connect to your computer or mobile device to when logging in. They work by creating a unique digital signature that can only be generated by the key. Security keys are considered one of the most secure forms of 2FA, as they require a physical connection to your device.
There are several different types of security keys available, including those that use USB, Bluetooth, or NFC. Some popular security key options include YubiKey and Google Titan Security Key.