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How to set up two-factor authentication on your online services

Line with three stars (as in a password) against a pink background with small illustrations.
Illustration by Samar Haddad / The Verge

Recently, it was announced that Twitter would only offer SMS-based two-factor authentication (2FA) to its Twitter Blue members (those who are willing to pay $8 a month on Android or $11 a month on iOS). To tell you the truth, my first reaction was: just as well. If you want to use 2FA to secure your social media or another account, using text messaging is not the way to go. You’re much better off using either a third-party authenticator app or a hardware security key.

What are security keys?

Security keys, such as the ones sold by Yubico, are the safest method to use. They can connect to your system using USB-A, USB-C, Lightning, or NFC, and they’re small enough to be carried on a keychain (with the exception of Yubico’s YubiKey 5C Nano,…

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