Two-factor authentication is a good way to protect your Internet accounts from the bad guys. Rather than relying solely on a password, you require an additional code sent to your phone via a text message or app. Google offers this to secure your email account, and Blizzard does the same. And it's smart—you didn't spend all of your teenage and young adult years playing World of Warcraft just to watch someone screw around with your character.
Another version of Snapchat has arrived, and if you blink, you might miss what's new (though you could always take a screenshot). This release makes an addition to protect your account. Snapchatters can now find the option to enable login verification and require an SMS code when signing in.
According to the identical changelogs accompanying the latest versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for tablets, that has changed.
Multi-factor authentication for Office 365 accounts.
Support of Mobile Application Management with Microsoft Intune. This enables IT administrators to (1) restrict copying of company data from managed Office apps to personal apps, (2) enable app level encryption, (3) enforce an app level PIN, and (4) selectively wipe managed apps and related data on a device.
Mobile payments app Venmo has been around for years now, but without two-factor authentication, security hasn't been as good as it could be. Fortunately the company is now getting around to changing that. Today it announced that it has added two-factor authentication to its mobile apps (Android and iOS) as well as the web.
When you attempt to sign into Venmo from a new phone, the service will send you a 6-digit code that you will need in order to get inside.
Going forward, Venmo will automatically enable this feature for anyone who uses the latest version of the app.
Google's two-factor authentication system is a great way to keep your email and other accounts safe, especially if you've always got a smartphone (or even a dumb phone) around. Today Google is adding even more options beyond the current phone call, text message, email, and app-based verification. The latest update to the desktop version of Chrome lets you use a USB key as your two-factor security token, ensuring access via both your physical presence and your login password.
Don't pull out your ancient jump drives just yet: you can't add this functionality to just any USB drive. The system only works with USB tokens certified for use with the FIDO U2F Security System, which currently includes just two products on Amazon (though you might be able to find a few more elsewhere).
A couple of days ago, Google began rolling out the latest version of its Play services apk to the massive audience of Android users around the world. This is a particularly special release for developers because it finally expands coverage of the Google Fit Preview SDK to those who either don't have a Nexus 5 or 2013 Nexus 7, or simply aren't willing to flash the last L Preview firmware onto them. Unfortunately, the public list of changes is practically devoid of anything for regular users beyond some minor visual updates to the Drive file picker. Don't feel down, Google may not have opened the door on any big features for the public, but the framework is up for a lot of great features we can look forward to.
Account security is a tough issue for a lot of people. It's a constant balancing act between having a stronger system to keep out would-be invaders while also making it convenient enough that users won't reject it. After Google began offering its own 2-step verification system, several other services adopted the same mechanism and opt-in model for people that wanted more than a single password protecting their personal data. This generally left users with Google's Authenticator app, which got the job done, but it lacked features and languished on an early Holo dark design. If you're looking for something a little more modern and functional, it's time to check out Authy.
When certain things finally happen, they make us want to search for that hidden ladder that takes people up to the rooftop and scream "Hallelujah," religious or no. This is one of those things. Google apparently no longer requires people with two-factor authentication enabled to sign in twice when setting up a new Android device or adding another account. Better yet, this change doesn't require Android L or anything fancy. Here's a video of the magic taking place on an HTC One M8.
Previously, after typing in an email address and password for the first time, Google would kick people with two-factor authentication enabled out to a web prompt where they could type in the code that they had received from either an app or a text message.
Users of newer versions of Windows or just about any Microsoft web service might be familiar with the company's rudimentary two-factor authentication system. If it's been a while since you've logged in or you're setting up a new Windows device, it might ask you for a verification code, accessible from a backup email account. Of course that can be a pain if you don't remember the password for that account, or simply don't want to dig it out. Now you don't have to.
The Microsoft account [sic] app allows you to use a two-factor authentication system without the usual email, text message, or call option.