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How To Avoid Getting Your Twitter, Facebook and Google Account From Getting Hacked

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TL;DR; Use two factor authentication

Yesterday we told you that Anonymous Philippines managed to hack Maine Mendoza’s Twitter account. Just like everybody else, Yaya Dub’s account was vulnerable to attack through a number of ways – social engineering, brute force password hacks and so on. While there’s no foolproof way to completely hack proof an account, there’s a simple and easy way to make it very difficult for hackers to get into your account remotely, and that’s through two factor authentication.

For the uninitiated, two-factor authentication is a way to protect your account by using two methods of authentication usually via your normal password and a passcode sent via a text message to your phones. It’s used when a new device logs on to your account.

While the technology is still susceptible to hacks, primarily through malware installed in your phones (through hacked and pirated apps), accounts with two-factor authentication is generally harder to hack than accounts without it. Even if hackers (and script kiddies) managed to brute-force their way into your password, they’ll still need the passkey that Google, Facebook, Twitter and all the other sites that use the protection method sent to your registered mobile number. It’s quite a hassle to use sometimes especially if you’re like us who constantly switch phones a lot, but it’s definitely better than having your phone hacked.

Many sites use two-factor authentication to protect their users. Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Yahoo Mail all have two-factor authentication options, and even gaming apps like Steam use two-factor authentication for protection. Enabling two-factor auth isn’t that difficult though it requires you to input your mobile phone number. Here’s how you do it:

TWITTER:

Two-factor Auth Twitter

Go to your account settings, then security then switch on login verification. You’ll be asked for your mobile number when you turn it on.

FACEBOOK:

Facebook two-factor auth 1

Go to your account settings, then security. Click on Login approvals, then select the box that says require a security code to access my account from unknown browsers.

Two-factor auth Facebook

Once you select that option, a small pop up will show up explaining how two-factor authentication works. You’ll be asked for your mobile number when you turn it on.

GOOGLE:

Google App

Go to your account settings on Google, select 2-step verification. Note that two-factor auth will be used on all Google services, including any future Android devices that you use with your Google account.

These three sites are the most common, and many sites for social media, banking and finance have two-factor authentication built-in. It pays to turn on this enhanced security feature to keep your account secure.

As parting advice, we also suggest that you replace your password with a combination phrase that has numbers, letters and uppercase characters to make it harder for people to brute-force your password even using software. For example, a passphrase like EverythingIsAwesomeIn2015 is harder to break than a password like 2015awesome. It’s also easier to remember as well.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

9 Comments

    1. Excuse me! It’s not her katangahan. Talagang gusto ng mga hacker ang mang hack ng account ng hindi sa kanila. So lahat ng may account, Tanga kung ganon? Bitter Spotted! :D

      1. matagal na rin akong gumagamit ng internet (social media, mmorpg, forums, etc.)
        mga wayback 2002 at ang napansin ko lang talaga ay mga katangahan ng mga users pag gumagamit ng mga computer (lalo sa netcafe) magbabanggit ako ng konti..

        1. hindi alam ang log out

        2. weak password/s

        3. todo lagay ng persona info

        alam mo naman siguro yan no? ngayon tanga ka rin ba?

      1. iyan na ba yung trashtalk mo? mga aldogs tlga butthurts. tsktsk.. kung ikaw haharap sa salamin cgurdo basag yung mukhamo hindi yung salamin. mag ttrashtalk ka rn nmn yung ma pipikon nko. #aldogs

  1. Hindi bat thru this two factor authentication nagoyo yung bank account ng isang tao dati. A few months ago ata nasa news siya. Pinalitan lang yung sim at kuha na yung passwords.

    1. edi yung may-ari na ng sim yung may kasalanan, hindi yung two factor authenticatiion, kahit 1000 factor authentication pa yan kung pabaya yung user, wag k ng magtaka kung bakit nahack account nya, i think inamin naman nung nagoyo na nagpabaya siya

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