Two-Step Verification: Protect Your Privacy & Safeguards Your Selfies

Two Step Verification helps protect your online privacy a vulnerability reduction effort with Coursen Security Group via Spencer Coursen

We lock or doors when we leave our homes, we lock our cars when we get where we’re going, and we set our laptops and phones to “go to sleep” after a few minutes of non-use. Despite these everyday protective practices, many of us only do the bare minimum required when it comes to protecting the online access to our private information.

It can literally take a computer program less than a second to break a common 8 character password. To help reduce the risk, many devices and applications offer two-step verification to help protect the privacy of their users.

Two-step verification is an additional level of security that prevents someone from logging into your account even if they know your password.  While many dismiss this extra level of protection as being a burden to ease-of-use, this extra step is only required should an attempt to log-in to your account be attempted from an unrecognized device.

Two-Step authentication works like this: Once you enter your username and password, the system will then email or text you a randomly generated code for you to enter for verification. This prevents your account from being accessed by someone who knows or is able to just guess your username and password.

Two Step verifications is the most effective way to keep anything you wouldn’t want made public safe in the cloud.

Here’s how:

For Apple:

  1. Go to My Apple ID.
  2. Select Manage your Apple ID and sign in.
  3. Select Password and Security.
  4. Answer your security questions and click Continue.
  5. Under Two-Step Verification, select Get Started and follow the onscreen instructions.

For Google:

  1. Sign in to your Google Account settings page by clicking on your name or picture in the upper right corner of the screen and then clicking Account.
  2. Scroll down to the “signing in” box
  3. Click 2-Step Verification. This will bring you to the 2-Step Verification settings page.
  4. You will then see a step-by-step guide which will help you through the setup process.
  5. Once you’re done, you’ll be taken to the 2-Step Verification settings page again. Be sure to review your settings and add backup phone numbers.
  6. You’re done! Next time you sign in, you’ll receive an SMS with a verification code

For Twitter:

  1. Go to your profile page inside the app and tap the settings icon (the one that looks like a gear).
  2. Tap the “Settings” tab.
  3.  Select the “Security” tab under the Accounts section.
  4. Toggle the Login Verification switch to “On.”
  5. Save the backup code that is generated in a safe place. If something happens to your phone, you can still log into Twitter by entering that code.
  6. Go to Twitter on your desktop or laptop and log into your account.
  7.  When you see the login verification request message, go back to your app and select “Login Requests” under the Security tab in the Settings section.
  8. Tap the check mark for the login request that you just made. If you see any login requests that are not yours, tap the “X” instead. This denies access to that login attempt.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to protect yourself. Take a few extra minutes during your lunch break today to enhance your online safety and help prevent your private messages from becoming public.


Spencer Coursen is a nationally recognized threat management expert who has an exceptional record of success in the assessment, management, and resolution of threats, domestic and global security operations, investigations, policy authorship, and protective strategy.

Spencer Coursen | Threat Management Expert | Washington, DC