How to Help Prevent Your Online Accounts from Being Hacked Even if Hackers Know Your Password [PHOTO]
The leaking of nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities might have been prevented if the victims had used this simple way to lock down their accounts.
You can’t blame the victims and you can’t blame iCloud completely for this security breach yet. The investigation is ongoing, and one new theory says that these celebrities may have been hacked when transmitting their passwords over a public Wi-Fi at the Emmy Awards.
Regardless of the blame, there is a step you can take that many social media sites and email services offer that make it harder for someone to access your account, even if they have your password.
It’s called two-factor authentication a method that requires something you know (your password) and something you have (your phone). Facebook, GMail and Apple are just a few of the services that offer this.
Let’s say someone should get your password and they try to log into your Facebook account with it. Unless they are using a device you have authorized, they will be asked to enter an authentication code as well. If they don’t have that code, they aren’t getting in. The code is sent to your phone either as a text message or given to you in the Facebook app on your phone.
When you enable two factor authentication, known as “Login Approvals” on Facebook, you will have to enter the code when you login to Facebook. Once you do, then you have the ability to tell Facebook you trust this computer or device and it won’t ask you for a code again. If you login from any other device or computer you’ll need to enter a code again. The code you get is unique to you and the time that it was requested so it’s pretty much impossible to figure out unless your phone is in your possession.
A text message with the code is the probably the easiest way, but if you prefer to use the Facebook app for a code, here’s where to find it:
Now this by no means makes your account 100% secure, but it does make it much more difficult to break into. It also has the added benefit of knowing if someone tries to access your account and has the password. If you get a text message with an authentication code and you didn’t just try to log in, someone has your password. Time to change it!
Facebook isn’t the only service that offers this added security. Here is a list of some common services with links to instructions on how to start using two factor authentication.