Twitter is removing a security option: here is how to upgrade to a better one!

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 20, 2023
Updated • Feb 22, 2023

Twitter announced this week that free service users can't use the text message two-factor authentication method on the site going forward. Existing users of the feature will have it disabled automatically on March 20, 2023, the deadline date. New users can't select it anymore during setup, as the feature is reserved to paying Twitter subscribers.

twitter protect account

Free Twitter users have two additional two-factor authentication methods at their disposal, which both turn out to be more secure than the text message method.

It is a good idea to switch from using text messages or emails for verification codes to using an authentication app or security key. The latter requires a hardware device, the former just an app that may be installed on Android, iOS and even some desktop operating systems.

Twitter is not the only service that is limited or removing support for text-based verification. Signal, a popular messaging service, announced recently that it will drop the feature on Android.

Enable two-factor authentication on Twitter

twitter two-factor authentication

You need to be signed-in to a Twitter account to start the process. Once done, select the three-dots menu and then Settings and Support > Settings and privacy.

Select security and account access, and on the next page security. Two-factor authentication needs to be selected on the next page to get started.

Twitter displays three authentication methods to all users, but only two of them, Authentication app and Security key, are available to free users.

Tip: if text message is still selected, you may want to disable the feature as it will be turned off on March 20, 2023 by Twitter anyway.

  1. Select Authentication app to get started. Twitter displays information on the process in an overlay.
  2. Select Get Started.
  3. Twitter displays a QR code on the page that needs to be scanned with an authentication app. Authy is being used for this tutorial, but Microsoft Authenticator, Google Authenticator, Raivo and many other apps work similarly.
  4. Open the app on a mobile device and select Menu > Add Account.
  5. Select Scan QR Code in the next step.
  6. Allow the app the permission to do so, if it is displayed.
  7. Point the camera at the QR code displayed by Twitter to scan it and integrate it into the app.
  8. Select a logo for the Twitter account to better identify it in Authy.
  9. Edit the account nickname for Authy in the next step. Authy is now able to generate codes for Twitter.
  10. Switch to the Twitter website and select Next.
  11. Enter the current verification code that the Authy app displays for Twitter.
  12. Twitter displays a single backup code after verification. The code may be used to skip the two-factor authentication sign-in.
  13. Select Done

Authentication App should be displayed with a checkmark now. Any sign-in to Twitter requires username, password and, in a second step, the two-factor authentication code. Access is granted only if all three are provided.

Twitter is removing a security option: here is how to configure a better one!
Article Name
Twitter is removing a security option: here is how to configure a better one!
Find out how to enable two-factor authentication on Twitter using an Authentication App.
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  1. basingstoke said on February 20, 2023 at 3:43 pm

    There are no scientific studies about this… but now might be a good opportunity to upgrade your mental health instead, by leaving twitter behind altogether.

    1. ECJ said on February 20, 2023 at 4:10 pm

      Agreed. Occasionally I click a link that goes there and the place is filled with toxicity. I don’t know how people voluntarily spend time at that place (or Facebook for that matter). It’s like volunteering to take part in a daily testicle kicking contest.

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