Guide  When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works.

Losing SMS authentication on Twitter? Here's how to keep your account secure for free

Twitter security

Twitter currently offers its users two-factor authentication (2FA) to secure their accounts. If this feature is enabled, users will need to provide another authentication factors aside from their username and password to verify their identity. 2FA is available through SMS, authentication apps, and security keys.

Just recently, however, Twitter announced that it will no longer offer everyone SMS authentication on the microblogging platform, with the option only remaining available to its Twitter Blue subscribers. And by March 20, regular users who don't switch to a different 2FA method will have SMS authentication removed from their accounts.

In all honesty, we at Neowin don't really understand why Twitter would offer SMS authentication to paying subscribers, given that it is actually one of the weakest types of 2FA. Even the Twitter account of its former CEO Jack Dorsey was hacked before as a result of the weaknesses of SMS authentication.

So why would you actually offer an unsecure authentication method to only your paying customers? Wouldn't it make more sense to just ditch the method entirely? If it's because Twitter wants to increase its Blue subscribers, we're pretty sure that it can find a more compelling feature to advertise than SMS authentication.

Nonetheless, if you're one of the many users who were affected by Twitter's bizarre decision, you can still secure your account without subscribing to Twitter Blue through an authentication app. With this method, you can retrieve your authentication code through an app instead of your SMS inbox. App-based authentication uses an algorithm linked to your device to continually generate numerical codes that expire every 30 seconds, so it is more secure than SMS.

How to set up app-based authentication on your Twitter account

Twitter Security
App-based authentication is free and more secure.
  1. Download an authenticator app to your phone. Popular choices include Microsoft Authenticator, Authy, and Google Authenticator.
  2. Go to your Twitter account, then head over to Settings and Support > Settings and Privacy > Security and account access > Security > Two-factor authentication.
  3. Switch on Authentication app. Follow the on-screen instructions. You may need to enter your password once to complete the setup process.

After successfully turning on app-based authentication, Twitter will give you a backup code. You will need to keep this code in a safe place like a password manager as it will allow you to log in to your account in case you lose access to your authentication app (like if you lose your phone).

Are you going to use app-based authentication once Twitter disables SMS authentication for regular users? Let us know in the comments section below.

Report a problem with article
The Mobile World Congress 2023 logo
Next Article

Here's everything you need to know about Mobile World Congress 2023

Previous Article

Pay What You Want for this Complete Amazon Web Services eBook Bundle

Join the conversation!

Login or Sign Up to read and post a comment.

5 Comments - Add comment