10 Popular Accounts That Should Have Two-Factor Authentication Enabled

Protect yourself online by tightening up your security on all your favorite apps

Two factor authentication
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Two-factor authentication (also called two-step verification) adds an extra layer of security to your personal online accounts that you regularly sign in with using an email address/username and password. By enabling this extra security feature, you can essentially prevent hackers from accessing your accounts if they happen to obtain your sign-in details.

Over the past few years, several popular online platforms have added two-factor authentication to their security features to better protect their users. Enabling it typically involves adding a mobile phone number to your account. When you sign into your account from a new device, a unique code will be texted or phoned to you, which you'll use to enter into the site or app for verification purposes.

Having a strong password isn't enough to guarantee protection online these days, so enabling two-factor authentication on every online account that allows you to do so is always a good idea. Here are 10 of the most popular online platforms that offer this extra protective security feature plus instructions for how to set them up.

01
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Google

Google
Google

When you enable two-factor authentication on your Google account, you add a layer of protection to all your accounts that you use from Google—including Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive and others. Google allows you to set up two-factor authentication to receive verification codes by text or automated phone call on a mobile device.

  1. Navigate to Google's two-factor authentication page on the web or in your mobile browser.
  2. Sign into your Google account.
  3. Click/tap the blue Get Started button. (You may be asked to sign in again after this step.)
  4. Add your country from the dropdown menu and your mobile phone number in the given field.
  5. Select whether you want to receive text messages or automated phone calls.
  6. Click/tap Next. A code will automatically be texted or phoned to you after this step.
  7. Enter the code that was just texted/phoned to you in the given field and then click/tap Next.
  8. Click/tap Turn On to enable two-factor authentication once Google verifies the code you entered.
02
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Facebook

facebook
Facebook

You can set up two-factor authentication for your Facebook account on the web or from within the mobile app. Facebook has several authentication options available, but for simplicity's sake we'll stick with showing you how to enable it with SMS text messages.

  1. Sign into your Facebook account on the web or from the official mobile app.
  2. If you're on the web, click the downward arrow in the top right corner and then click Settings from the dropdown menu followed by Security and Login in the left vertical menu. If you're on mobile, tap the hamburger icon on the far right of the bottom menu, tap to View your profile, tap the three dots labeled More, tap View Privacy Shortcuts, tap More Settings and finally tap Security and Login.
  3. Scroll down to Setting Up Extra Security and tap Use two-factor authentication (for both web and mobile).
  4. On the web, click Add Phone beside the Text Message (SMS) option to add your phone number and confirm your number by entering in the code sent to you by text. On mobile, tap the checkbox beside Two-factor authentication at the top and then tap Start Setup > Continue to have a code sent to your device that you can use to confirm your number.
  5. On the web, click Enable under Text Message (SMS) once you have a phone number set up. On mobile, tap Close to finish the setup process.
03
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Twitter

Twitter
Twitter

Like Facebook, Twitter allows you to set up two-factor authentication on the regular web and from within the mobile app. Several authentication options are also available, but again, like Facebook, we'll stick with the easiest option—verification by phone.

  1. Sign into your Twitter account on the web or from the official mobile app.
  2. If you're on the web, click your profile picture in the top right of the screen and then click Settings and privacy from the dropdown menu. If you're using the mobile app, navigate to Me from the bottom menu to pull up your profile, tap the gear icon and then tap Settings and privacy from the menu that slides up.
  3. On the web, scroll down to the Security section and click add a phone under the Login verification: Verify login requests checkbox. On mobile, tap Account from the Settings and privacy tab > Security and then turn on the Login verification button so it turns green. 
  4. On the web, select your country, enter your phone number in the given field and tap Continue. On mobile, tap Confirm > Start after turning on Login verification and then verify your password. Select your country and enter your phone number into the given field. Tap Send code.
  5. On the web, enter the code that was texted to you into the given field and click Activate code. On mobile, enter the code that was texted to you and tap Submit. Tap Done in the top right corner.
  6. On the web, navigate back to Settings and privacy to make sure the Verify login requests checkbox is checked off. On mobile, navigate to your Settings (gear icon) > Settings and privacy > Account > Security to make sure the Login verification button is turned on.
04
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LinkedIn

Linkedin
Linkedin

On LinkedIn, you can only enable two-factor authentication from the web and not the mobile app. You can, however, navigate to LinkedIn.com from a mobile browser and sign into your account from there to enable it.

  1. Sign into your LinkedIn account on the desktop or mobile web.
  2. Click/tap Me from the top menu and select Settings & Privacy from the dropdown menu.
  3. Click/tap Privacy from the top menu.
  4. Scroll down to the last section labeled Security and click/tap on Two-step verification.
  5. Click/tap Add a phone number.
  6. Select your country, enter your phone number in the given field and click/tap Send code. You may be asked to reenter your password.
  7. Enter the code that was texted to you into the given field and click/tap Verify.
  8. Navigate back to Privacy from the top menu, scroll down and click/tap Two-step verification again.
  9. Click/tap Turn on and reenter your password to receive another code to activate two-step verification.
  10. Enter the code into the given field and click/tap Verify to enable two-step verification.
05
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Instagram

Instagram
Screenshots of Instagram for iOS

Although Instagram can be accessed on the web, its use is limited—and that includes enabling two-factor authentication. If you want to enable it, you'll have to do it from within the mobile app.

  1. Sign into your Instagram account using the app on a mobile device.
  2. Open the app and navigate to your profile by tapping your profile picture in the right corner of the main menu at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Tap the gear icon to access your settings.
  4. Scroll down and tap Two-Factor Authentication under the Account options.
  5. Tap the Require Security Code button to turn it on so it appears green.
  6. Tap Add Number on the popup box that appears over the screen
  7. Enter your phone number in the given field and tap Next. A confirmation code will be texted to you.
  8. Enter the confirmation code into the given field and tap Done.
  9. Tap OK on the popup box to take a screenshot of the backup codes Instagram provides you with in case you can't receive a security code by text and need to get back into your account.
06
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Snapchat

Snapchat
Screenshots of Snapchat for iOS

Snapchat is a mobile-only social network, so there's no option to sign into a web version. If you want to enable two-factor authentication, you have to do it entirely through the app.

  1. Sign into your Snapchat account using the app on a mobile device.
  2. Open the app and tap the ghost icon in the top left corner of the screen to pull down your Snapcode profile.
  3. Tap the gear icon in the top right corner to access your settings.
  4. Tap Mobile Number under My Account to add your phone number to the app if you haven't done so already.
  5. Navigate back to the previous tab by tapping the back arrow in the top left corner and then tap Login Verification > Continue.
  6. Tap SMS. A verification code will be texted to you.
  7. Enter the verification code into the given field and then tap Continue.
  8. Tap Generate Code to get a recovery code in case you change your phone number and need to long into your account. Enter your password to continue.
  9. Take a screenshot of the recovery code that is generated for you or write it down and keep it somewhere safe. Tap I wrote it down when you're done.
07
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Tumblr

Tumblr
Tumblr

Tumblr is a blogging platform that has a very active user base on mobile, but if you want to enable two-factor authentication, you'll have to do it on the web. There is currently no option to enable it via the Tumble mobile app.

  1. Sign into your Tumblr account from the desktop or mobile web.
  2. Click/tap the user account icon in the top right corner of the main menu and select Settings from the dropdown menu.
  3. Under the Security section, click/tap to turn on the Two-factor authentication button so that it turns blue.
  4. Select your country, enter your mobile phone number in the given field and enter your password in the last field. Click/tap Send to receive a code by text. 
  5. Enter the code into the next field and click/tap Enable.
08
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Dropbox

dropbox
Dropbox

Although there are various account, privacy and security settings you can configure on Dropbox, they haven't been built into the current version of Dropbox mobile app. To enable two-factor authentication, you'll have to sign into your account from a web browser.

  1. Sign into your Dropbox account from the desktop or mobile web.
  2. Click/tap your profile picture in the top right of the screen and select Settings from the dropdown menu.
  3. Navigate to the Security tab from the Account Settings menu.
  4. Scroll down to the Status option for Two-step verification and click/tap the link labeled (click to enable) beside Disabled.
  5. Click/tap Get Started on the popup box that appears over the screen, enter your password and click/tap Next.
  6. Select Use text messages and click/tap Next.
  7. Select your country and enter your mobile phone number into the given field. Click/tap Next to receive a code by text.
  8. Enter the code you received into the following field and click/tap Next.
  9. Add an optional backup phone number in case you change your phone number and then click/tap Next.
  10. Take a screenshot of the backup codes or write them down before clicking/tapping Enable two-step verification.
09
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Evernote

Evernote
Evernote

Evernote is awesome to use via both its desktop apps and mobile apps, but you'll need to sign in on the web version if you want to enable two-step authentication.

  1. Sign into your Evernote account from the desktop or mobile web.
  2. Click/tap your profile photo in the bottom left corner of the screen (at the bottom of the vertical menu).
  3. Click/tap Security Summary under the Security section in the vertical menu on the left side of the screen.
  4. Click/tap Enable beside the Two-Step Verification option on the Security Summary page.
  5. After clicking Continue twice on the popup box that appears, click Send Verification Email to first verify your email address.
  6. Check your email and click/tap Confirm Email Address in the email message received from Evernote.
  7. In the new web browser, tab that opens select your country and enter your mobile phone number in the given field. Click/tap Continue to receive a code by text.
  8. Enter the code into the following field and click/tap Continue.
  9. Enter an optional backup phone number in case you change your phone number. Click/tap Continue or Skip.
  10. You'll be asked to set up Google Authenticator with your device. To continue, you'll have to download and install the free Google Authenticator app on your device. Once you've done this, click/tap the green button to continue the setup on your iOS, Android or Blackberry device.
  11. Tap Begin Setup > Scan Barcode on the Google Authenticator app and then use your device's camera to scan the barcode given by Evernote. The app will give you a code when it has successfully scanned the barcode.
  12. Enter the code from the app into the given field on Evernote and click/tap Continue.
  13. Take a screenshot of the backup codes or write them down and keep them in a safe place in case you ever need to sign into your account from another machine and are unable to receive a verification code. Click/tap Continue.
  14. Enter one of the verification codes into the next field to confirm that you have them and then click/tap Complete Setup.
  15. Verify your password by reentering it again to sign in and finish enabling two-factor authentication.
10
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WordPress

Wordpress
Wordpress

If you have a self-hosted WordPress website, you can install one of the many two-factor authentication plugins available to add an extra layer of security to your site. If you haven't hidden your login page or have many user accounts for multiple users to sign in, this should really help beef up your site's security.

  1. Head to wordpress.org/plugins in your web browser and do a search for "two-factor authentication" or "two-step verification."
  2. Browse through the available plugins, download one that you like, upload it to your site and follow the installation instructions to set it up.

Note: You may already have the JetPack plugin installed by default on your site, which is a powerful plugin that has a two-factor authentication security feature. JetPack has instructions here for how to get started with installing and using the plugin.