Two-step verification 101: What it is and how to activate it

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a year ago

These days it’s simply not enough to protect your apps with a strong password given the constant hacks and security breaches on the biggest web services. This is why the two-step verification system has become an indispensable defensive barrier if you want to make sure you’re protected. Here we explain what it’s all about and how to activate it on popular services like whatsapp, Facebook, and Steam.

What is two-step verification?

The idea behind this system is to use an additional device to confirm access to your account or service. The most standard combo is to enter your login details on the service on any device plus a security code sent by SMS to your smartphone to enter on top of the password. This way someone who discovers your password can’t get access unless they physically have your phone, too, to get the code from.

Just like with text messages, often your email address can serve as the second step in the verification process, in which case you’ll get a verification password, though there are ever more independent apps designed specifically to generate passwords like that. This is exactly what Google Authenticator does for Google services and it might be the most-used system of that nature, but not by a long shot is it the only one. Giants like Microsoft and Apple also have their own versions.
Two-step verification for WhatsApp

In February 2017 two-step verification (finally!) came to the most popular chat app in the world. We explained step-by-step how to activate it on the blog, though the system is not at all complicated: just go to Settings > Account > 2-step verification. In this case the code has six digits and you can set it yourself. You’ll have to enter it what you associate the app with a phone number plus after every few hours of use.
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