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Apps adding security: Twitter’s new safety measure goes mobile

Twitter users will be able to tweet more securely in a few weeks, as the company is set to release a smartphone app that adds another layer of security to users’ accounts.

Once installed on your iPhone or Android device, the app will only appear when you try to log in to your Twitter account, be it on your phone or on your computer.

Each time you try to sign in to the service, the app will come to life and present you with a passcode. You then have to enter that code into the website to gain access to Twitter as normal.

If you don’t have a smartphone, don’t worry. The security measure will be optional for Twitter users. Or you could use text message-based security, where Twitter sends you a text message with a code every time you try to login.

So what do you think – easy? Hard? Not worth it?

The future is two-factor

Anyone who thinks this new system is a hard or bothersome process should prepare themselves to see more and more security measures like this. The future of online security is in two-factor authentication.

Services like Google’s GMail already include two-factor options for added security, while the popularity of such methods is only going to grow and grow. In fact, Blizzard, the games developer behind World of Warcraft (the fantastically popular online game) and Diablo 3, makes their “authenticator” tool (a type of two-factor protection) compulsory for some accounts to prevent hacking.

And if you don’t have a smartphone to run the “authenticator”, you have to buy an additional device for $12. Yuck.

With these companies now pushing two-factor authentication, it’s important to remember that in our modern world, the common password is becoming increasingly too weak a security precaution.

Until we are all forced to use our smartphones and a secret password to login to online services (which we think will be a positive, if slightly annoying future), we suggest that you make sure your password protection is up to scratch.

That means don’t use the same password for different websites, don’t make it too simple and don’t forget to use numbers, symbols and capital letters! You’ve heard this message before, but if Twitter and Google are spending millions in researching new tools to help the password, it’s import to realise just how insecure passwords can be, and why you need to make sure yours is as tough to crack as possible.

Related posts:
What is “Two-Factor Authentication” and why does it keep you extra safe?
Why you shouldn’t use the same password

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