Starting next week, many Twitter accounts will become less secure. Here’s how not to get hacked
From 20 March 2023, most Twitter accounts will no longer receive the free SMS two-factor authentication code when trying to log in to their Twitter account. The service will be limited to those who have paid a $13 monthly Twitter Blue subscription, which was introduced by Twitter's new owner, Elon Musk. The disabled service will not interfere with the activities of non-Twitter Blue subscribers, but it will deny them the extra layer of security designed to prevent their accounts from being taken over if their passwords are compromised.
Mr Musk's decision will affect many Twitter users, as black hats are well aware of this development and will no doubt be aiming their arsenals at unsecured Twitter accounts, but there is a way out. Here are two ways to secure your Twitter account without using a two-factor authentication service:
First, download an Authenticator app. This app provides a two-factor authentication service similar to Twitter's when integrated with online service providers and social platforms. The Authenticator app generates a one-time code that you use to confirm that you are logging in to a website. Integrate it with your Twitter account by going to Settings and Privacy > Security and Account Access > Security > Two-factor authentication and selecting the Authenticator app. Enter your password and click Validate.
Your security feature will then be updated and remain new, protecting your account from any impersonation attempt, but you must be careful not to be tricked into sharing your password with the wrong person, often by being lured into an identical but different login platform.
The second approach is to use a hardware key. This device comes in the form of a flash drive and is often seen as a 'possession factor' used to authenticate your account in addition to a password. This measure gives you a better security approach to solving this impending Twitter security breach, as well as providing security for other online platforms.
The only problem most people have with hardware keys is the inconvenience of losing them or having to carry them around every time you need to perform 2FA.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and the security of your Twitter account is not something you can trade. It makes more sense to adapt one of the security measures or risk having your Twitter account hacked.