After months of news organizations asking - and begging, thanks to the efforts of the Syrian Electronic Army –– Twitter has finally released its two-step verification security feature.
The optional security feature can be activated by going into Twitter's settings menu, connecting your phone to your Twitter account (if you haven't already) and selecting the option to have Twitter require you to enter a six-digit verification code when you sign into your account. After a few text messages sent by Twitter you'll be good to go - provided you don't lose your phone.
Those who have their Twitter account set up across multiple devices and applications shouldn't worry: the applications you've already signed into won't be affected, though you will have to generate a new temporary verification codes to activate Twitter in new apps and devices after you've activated two-step verification.
The reasoning behind two-step verification is simple: if someone is trying to log into your Twitter account they'll also need additional access to your phone to do so - hard to do when you're far away from the owner's phone.
"Of course, even with this new security option turned on, it's still important for you to use a strong password and follow the rest of our advice for keeping your account secure," Jim O'Leary, a member of Twitter's product security team wrote in a blog post.
The release of Twitter's two-step verification comes after months of high-profile Twitter hijackings. Most of these hijackings were the work of the Syrian Electronic Army, which compromised, and used, Twitter accounts belonging to the BBC, The Guardian, AFP, The Associated Press and even the satire site, The Onion. But Twitter highjackings aren't the exclusive domain of news organizations. In February, hundreds of thousands of accounts were compromised, forcing Twitter to reset Twitter credentials. And, according to The Verge, many of the first Twitter adopters have also been targeted and similarly hacked, though they aren't high-profile targets.
It's still not certain if the two-step security feature will be beneficial to major organizations, though. As TechCrunch reports, major account holders typically have more than one person who posts to a given Twitter account - necessitating one primary account holder to relay verification credentials to other account users.
It may not be perfect for those with the most needs for more security, but it's better than nothing.