Why and how to protect your Google, Facebook, iCloud, Steam… accounts

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Facebook, Google, Twitter, Steam, etc. All of these services use two-factor authentication, or two-factor security, or 2FA, to protect their users’ accounts, which is how it’s enabled.

Double authentication —or 2FA— has become the technique with the best simplicity/efficiency ratio to secure your Google, Facebook, Twitter or other accounts.

Add, in addition to the password, a new authentication step, such as a message with a code, the use of a security key or an authenticator application. If someone tries to access your account after hacking your password, they should normally be blocked by confirming your identity, which will take place on your smartphone.

More and more services are using 2FA security to add an important layer of security. To secure an account we can distinguish three types of elements: what we know (a password), what we are (a biometric sensor such as a fingerprint or facial recognition) and what you carry (your smartphone, connected watch, etc.). Therefore, double authentication adds this last identification method to the first or second.

Here’s how to activate it on your different accounts:

Turn on two-factor authentication for a Google account

Activating double authentication in your Google account allows you to protect Gmail, YouTube or Drive. To do this, you have to find the “two-step validation” option. Go to the Google account management page, myaccount.google.com, sign in and go to the “Security” tab. There you will see the famous two-step verification option.

Follow the instructions and choose between receiving an invitation on the smartphone linked to the Google account (click “Yes” on your smartphone when it asks if the connection attempt is yours), receiving a code by SMS or by call or finally use a Security key such as the Titan key created by Google.

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Enable two-factor authentication on Facebook

For Facebook, it’s just as simple. Just look for the “Use two-factor authentication” option by going to Settings, then the Security tab.

From there, you have two solutions at your disposal: go through an authenticator application such as Google Authenticator or Duo Mobile, or receive a code by SMS.

If you choose the ID app, simply download it to your smartphone, open it, and scan the QR code displayed by Facebook to link the account.

Activate double authentication in WhatsApp

WhatsApp has offered two-factor authentication for quite some time. The application teams have dedicated a tutorial to it as well as an explanatory video.

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To activate this option, therefore, all you have to do is press the three dots at the top right of the WhatsApp interface and select “Settings”. In the menu that is offered to you, choose “Account” and then the “Two-Step Verification” option. In the window that appears, click the Activate button and let yourself be guided. Please note that you will need to set up a six-digit PIN.

Enable two-factor authentication on Twitter

For Twitter, go to the settings of the social network, then to the submenus “Security and account access”, “Security” and finally “Two-factor authentication”. You have three techniques at your disposal to protect your account: by SMS, through an authenticator application or with a security key.

Be warned, though: Twitter has made SMS authentication paid, as you have to subscribe to Twitter Blue to take advantage of it. If you are not a subscriber, you must uncheck the SMS option (deadline March 19, 2023), otherwise you will no longer have access to the social network.

Enable two-factor authentication on Snapchat

For Snapchat, everything happens through the app, right on your smartphone. Open it and go to settings by clicking on your profile at the top left, then the wheel at the top right.

Once there, simply click on “Two Factor Authentication”. Like Facebook, you can choose between an SMS code or an authenticator app.

Turn on two-factor authentication on an Apple/iCloud account

To secure an Apple and iCloud account, go to your iPhone. Go to “Settings”, then click on your name and finally on “Password and security”. On this page, click “Enable two-factor authentication.” As for Twitter, you will only have the option of the code by SMS.

On Mac, go to “System Preferences”, “iCloud” and “Account Details”. Click on security, then on “Enable two-factor authentication” to receive your SMS.

Enable two-factor authentication on Instagram

For Instagram, you need to go to your account settings, then to the “Security and privacy” tab.

Then click “Change two-factor authentication settings” to choose between the SMS code or the authenticator app.

Enable two-factor authentication on Steam

For Steam, Valve offers its own account security method called “Steam Guard”. To activate it, log in to your Steam account, go to your account settings and then “Account Security”. Finally, click on “Manage Steam Guard”.

Again, two options are possible: an email code sent on every connection attempt on a new device, or going through a particular authenticator app: the Steam app. For each connection request, you will have to confirm it from your smartphone.

Activate two-factor authentication on a PlayStation account

The PlayStation account is surely one of the types of web accounts whose hacks are more devastating. In 2011, the PlayStation Network was down for several days after a hack. To further secure your account, go to the PlayStation website, sign in and click on your profile picture to go to account settings.

Then just click “Edit” next to “Two-Step Verification”. The only option available will then be the code by SMS.

Activate two-factor authentication on a Microsoft / Outlook account

To protect your Microsoft account and therefore your Skype or Outlook account at the same time, go to the page dedicated to Microsoft account management: account.microsoft.com. Then go to the “Security” tab and then to “Other security options”.

Then click on “Set up identity verification app”. You will need to download the “Microsoft Authenticator” app which is the same app as Google’s, but with the Redmond sauce. However, you can use an app like Google Authenticator by scanning the QR code just like on Facebook.

Enable two-factor authentication on Dropbox


is one of the storage services cloud reference. Log in to the site and click on your profile picture at the top right and then “Settings”. Go to the “Security” tab and enable “Two-Step Verification”.

You will be able to choose between an SMS code or an authenticator application.

Activate two-factor authentication on Amazon


It is surely one of the most coveted web accounts by hackers. It often contains your bank details, your address, etc. Therefore, it is essential to secure it with this technique.

Go to your Amazon account settings, click on “Login and security settings” and then on “Advanced security settings”.

Therefore, it will offer to identify you with a code via SMS or an authenticator app.

The others

To see if other sites support two-factor authentication, you can go to Two-factor authentication. This site lists many sites and specifies whether or not they support double authentication and especially what type of double authentication!

It won’t tell you how to do this, but most of the time you’ll need to go to the account settings and security tab. Next, you should find the two-factor authentication option here. If it doesn’t offer it, pay even more attention to your identifiers and the data you give access to, we’re never too careful!

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