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How to stop a hacker series: Two-step verification

In part 4 of our weeklong series to avoid getting hacked, today’s Data Doctors Tech Tip explains why the pain of 2-step verification is worth the price of admission.

2 step verification is nothing new, yet it’s amazing how few people use this powerful and free tool to to protect themselves.

Microsoft started rolling out its two-step verification process back in April. Also known as two-factor authentication or two-step authentication, the process strengthens your account security by requiring you to enter your password (step 1), then a security code (step 2).

The security code sent to you by SMS (text messaging), or in Microsoft’s case you can make it a phone call, or you can use an authenticator app on your mobile device.

Turning on two-step verification on your Microsoft account will enable it across all of your Microsoft services that currently support two-step verification, like Outlook.com, Office 365, and SkyDrive.

Even if someone gets your username and password, they won’t be able to get in. Why? because they need one more important thing. 2 step authentication requires something you know, like a username and password, and something you have, your smartphone.

If someone tries to login as you, you’ll get a text message with a code that must be entered to proceed. Without that code, your account is locked and you’ll be alerted that someone has your password.

Lots of others like Facebook and Google have been offering this for a while, when you see the option SAY YES!

Tomorrow, we wrap up our series on how to avoid getting hacked, We’ll tell you how to know if it’s time to change your password.

Remember, we’ve got the answers to your technology questions.

All you have to do is ask us at facebook.com/datadoctors.