At the end of July, Microsoft took to its Enterprise security blog to announce it was combining its existing authenticator apps into a single Microsoft Authenticator app - that app is now available.
Previously, the tech giant had separate authentication apps for its consumer accounts and the enterprise Azure AD accounts. According to the blog post, this new app combines the best features from the Microsoft accounts and the Azure Authenticator apps into one application. It serves as an update to the current Azure Authenticator, while users of the old Microsoft account app will need to download it after being prompted to do so. Read More
There are a few ways to enable 2-factor authentication. One common approach is to send a text message to your phone containing an authentication token. Another option is to have an app installed that will generate that string of numbers without making you wait.
There are a few apps out there that will do the job. Google Authenticator is one. Another is Authy, which was acquired by Twilio a year ago. The latest version of the latter adds support for six, seven, and eight digit authentication tokens. Not only that, it makes those digits significantly easier to read. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
In early 2014, Microsoft started providing Office 365 users with the option to secure their accounts with multi-factor authentication. When signing in, folks have to respond to a phone call, text message, or phone notification after entering their password. The feature has since worked on PCs and smartphones, but when Office came to Android tablets, support was absent.
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. Read More
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). Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More