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Are you an athlete who just had their account hacked and now you don’t know what to do? Is some random person tweeting inappropriate things on your behalf? Here’s what you should do. For starters, you should try to change your password. But more importantly to avoid this mishap in the future, you should set up two-factor authentication for all your accounts.
If you’re unfamiliar with two-factor authentication, or 2FA, it’s a way to secure your accounts by adding an extra step in the login process. That can involve using something other than a a password, on top of your password, to verify that it’s you logging on.
The hacker might have your password, but they probably don’t have the cell phone you carry around with you at all times, which is why two-factor authentication can come in the form a text message. If you set up your account for this, then every time you attempt to log in, you’ll receive a text with a code. Enter that code on the page you want to access and you’re in.
You can use an app which is designed strictly to confirm it’s you trying to enter. They’re called authenticator apps and are more secure than a text message, according to The Verge. To start, you’ll have to link that particular account to your preferred authenticator app. Once you’re set up, you can log in by entering your password on the site. And instead of getting a text, you’ll have to grab your phone and open the app. You’ll usually get a unique code that expires and changes every few minutes for added security.
And while most of the 2FA options are digital, there are physical options like security keys that require you to plug a USB into your phone or laptop. It’s like opening a physical door, but like, digitally. There are various options that you can choose from.
It’s an extra few seconds every time you attempt to log in to your favorite account of social media platform, but it makes all the difference.