Twitter, Instagram and Facebook want you to pay for SMS verification

An additional secure account will soon no longer be possible by SMS if you do not subscribe to a paid subscription service. After the Twitter announcement, also let Facebook and Instagram know to follow this example. Starting next week, the new service will be tested on Instagram and Facebook in Australia and New Zealand. Subscriptions will be offered starting at $11.99, primarily aimed at influencers and other content creators.

Starting March 20, Twitter users will notice that non-paying accounts no longer have a two-step verification feature. Learn more in this article.

How does two-step verification work?

Two-step verification is also called 2FA. It’s an extra layer of security for your account. Instead of only having to enter your password when logging in, there is now also a passcode or security key that you need to enter. The easiest way to use 2FA is to use your SMS. All you have to do is enter your phone number. You will then receive a unique code by SMS. Sure, you would think. Yet nothing could be further from the truth.

2FA via SMS really so secure?

For several reasons, this way of connecting is not a secure option. According to the director of security company ESET Netherlands, Dave Maasland, 2FA over SMS is an unencrypted protocol. If you have the right equipment, intercepting the code and reading it is possible. However, hackers have to put in more effort than if you just had to enter your password.

If hackers are really after you, your provider can be contacted. The hacker then pretends to be a victim. A common excuse is to say that the SIM card has stopped working.

The authenticator application is the solution?

A less convenient option than SMS is two-step verification via an authenticator app. Major players such as Google and Microsoft offer this app for free. Here, each time you want to log in, a unique code is created to log in.

How it works? You only need to download the authenticator app once to use it. First, download Google Authenticator or Microsoft Authenticator for free, available on iOS and Android. Then add the different accounts where you want to activate 2FA. The combination of strong and unique passwords with 2FA is good security. However, it is still important that you are careful and never share your passwords or 2FA codes with others.

As early as 2022, it became known through an internal memo from Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp, that they are working hard on features to monetize their social media apps.

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