Twitter has been working on integrating a two-factor authentication system to the service’s sign in process in the last couple of months. It’s main aim is to provide users of the company’s service with additional options to improve their account security.
Yesterday, Twitter announced that it began to roll out the login verification feature to all users of the service.
If you enable two-factor authentication, you are asked to enter a second code during sign in to Twitter. An attacker trying to get access to the account would have to know both the username and password and the second code. Since it is generated dynamically whenever you try to sign in, it is necessary to get hold of your mobile phone as the code is automatically send to your phone via SMS. Continue reading →
Webkinz pets are plush pets that come with a secret code that you can enter on webkinz.com to play with a virtual version of the pet online. Webkinz World is a highly popular Internet destination since 2005 in the US and in other countries where the pets are sold in.
To enter the code, a Webkinz online account is required. Registration is completely free, but accounts are initially restricted. The registration of a secret code or becoming a deluxe member resolves those limitations so that all functionality becomes available on the website.
So you have multiple Google accounts that you work with on a regular basis? Maybe a Gmail account for work and one for private messaging? Or a work and home Google+ or YouTube account? Or maybe your whole family is using one PC and sharing a single account on that PC?
If that is the case you may appreciate the option to add multiple accounts to Google’s sign in page. When enabled, it lets you stay signed in to all accounts and displays a selection screen on the sign in page that basically lets you select the account that you want to log in with.
Microsoft some days ago published a new mail interface on outlook.com that is said to replace the company’s own Hotmail email service in the long run. Existing Hotmail and Windows Live users can sign in to outlook.com with their old credentials, with Hotmail users currently having options to switch completely to the new email interface or to keep using the old interface for the time being.
Users may run into login issues when they try to sign in to their account on the new Outlook website. This guide looks at the most common causes, and provides fixes for these situations so that you can start using your Outlook.com account again.
Microsoft is currently preparing the release of its Windows 8 operating system. If you have followed the news, you may notice that it will ship with a new start page that is fundamentally different from what you have been working with before.
One additional change is the integration of the Microsoft Account in the operating system. Microsoft Account is the new name for your Windows Live login. Windows 8 users can either sign in locally into the operating system or use their Microsoft Account to do so. If they select the latter, they benefit from cloud synchronization features that allow them to use their preferences and settings on all systems running Windows 8, even if they have never worked with a particular computer before.
What we have not talked about yet is what you need to do when your online account got hacked. This does not necessarily have been your fault, as servers and databases can get hacked as well. Depending on how the passwords were protected and the password that you have used on the site, it may as simply as copying and pasting the password for the attacker, or near impossible to get hold of it.
Automatic logins can speed up a system’s or website’s log in process significantly. You do however need to remember that it can also be a security risk, for instance if the computer is shared with multiple family members, accessible by others in an office, or if there is the chance that it gets stolen or lost.
If you are using a computer running Windows 7 on your own, you may prefer to automatically log in to the operating system instead of having to enter your account password all the time. This is first a manual task that slows down the login, and second something that is not really protecting your data from being accessed by third parties, as there are none who may take advantage of it.
If you are a regular reader of Loginhelper you know that security does not end with the selection of a strong account password. The password may be the most important aspect, but there are other factors to consider. This includes making sure you are on the right site before you key in your login name and password, or protecting your email account that is connected to Facebook.
Facebook’s Security Settings can further improve your security when interacting with the social networking site. This short guide looks at all available options, and explains how to best configure the settings to protect your Facebook account.
You can load this page or click on the down arrow, select Account Settings and then Security to open the settings page.
We have seen many attacks on user account information in the past years. These kind of attacks have increased as the Internet moved forward to become everyone’s favorite pasttime, and even more than that. Attackers are still making use of phishing attacks, mostly by sending out mass mails, to steal login, financial and identity related information. A second group has moved on though and started to hack the servers and websites directly to download their databases.
With part of the user base selecting weak passwords, it is easy to parse through the database to get a list of working passwords in record time.
Good security begins with a strong password. Opinions differ a lot when it comes to the definition of strong. Most agree that users should not pick dictionary words (like apple), first or last names, teams, brands or other words that may make their way on a word list. If you are asking me, I’d say your password should at least have 12 characters, and if possible at least one upper char, one lower char, one number and one special char. Tgo5ggg3dc_rr4 would be a strong password.
Strong passwords are just the beginning though. Some websites for instance may save your password in plain text. It is a security taboo, as it provides attackers who download the site’s database with all the information they need to wreak maximum havoc on the site and its users.
That’s one of the reasons why 2-factor authentication is so important. This basically adds another log in layer to the login process. Facebook and Google make use of 2-factor authentication.
With 2-factor authentication enabled, you will receive a code on your mobile phone or device that you need to enter to complete the login process. An attacker who managed to steal your username and password, for instance with a keylogger, would not be able to log in to the site if the additional authentication step had been enabled previously.
Google users can enable 2-step verification in their Google account. This link opens the Account Settings page on the Google website
You need to click on the edit link next to 2-step verification to configure the security layer. Please note that you need to enter a mobile phone number during setup. This is the number that Google will send the codes to whenever they are needed.
I suggest you open the official announcement post over at the official Google blog site to read up on the instructions.
Facebook’s 2-factor authentication system works slightly different than Google’s. It only asks for a code if a user tries to log in from a new device. It is still important to activate it to improve the account security.
Are you worried about the security of your Facebook account? That someone might guess or steal your login for instance? We have covered all the need to knows in our Facebook Login Guide that details how you can make your account more secure, and how to recover it if you have forgotten your sign in information or if someone else managed to get into your account without your approval.
The Facebook Security Quit is a short quiz to raise awareness for security related issues on the popular social networking site.
Users of the social networking site can access the quiz on this page.