If virtually all celebrities are verified by Twitter (that tiny and somewhat coveted blue checkmark), then it stands to reason that this will stop 95% of all these celeb account hacks.
First, though, a quick primer on two-factor authentication. What it means is that, when you sign into Twitter, you have to prove who you are in not one, but two ways. Not only do you need your password, but you also have to enter a one-time code into a second pop-up screen. That code will typically come from your phone via a text message. It’s usually a randomly generated set of numbers and/or letters sent to you by the service you’re trying to sign into.
The reason this works so well as an authentication scheme is that the number is not sent to an email address, which may have already been hacked. Instead, it goes to a phone number. The system is, in other words, verifying the identity of the account holder since that person would likely be the only one with access to that phone. (Teams running an individual account can also use
It’s a great way to block would-be hackers who may have gotten your user name and password, but probably don’t have your smartphone in their hands.
Twitter has long had a two-factor authentication option. Anyone can opt-in now. Just remember that you will need your phone to log into your Twitter account, even on the desktop.
Not everyone needs or wants this level of security. I’d imagine many would consider it an annoyance, even if it does stop hackers from ruining your social media life
Celebrities are different, though.
Just take a look at all the celebrities who been hacked in recent weeks and days.
When they got hacked it was
These high-profile verified accounts worked hard to get where they are and to earn that blue check. Isn’t it worth a little extra baggage? Twitter might argue that it goes against its principles to enforce that kind of security. I say: The benefits afforded by verification — greater visibility, an “official” stamp that says you are whom you say you are, and the potential for faster follower growth (it’s seems safe to assume that people more readily promote verified accounts than others) — make it a fair trade. Ultimately, the Twitter celeb would be doing something that benefits both parties. Hacked Twitter accounts hurt Twitter’s reputation as much as it does the celebrity’s.
Twitter has said very little publicly about the growing number of hacks beyond reminding people to
When I asked Twitter about the hack epidemic and the possibility of requiring two-factor for all verified accounts, a spokesperson sent me this statement:
If you think we’ve seen the last of hacked social media (mainly Twitter) accounts, consider this: Over 400 million
While Twitter won’t act, I hope that everyone reading this, especially prime targets like celebrities, will take my advice and implement two-factor authentication now.
Here’s a quick look at how to do it:
What do you think about making two-factor authentication a requirement for Twitter verified accounts? Will it solve the problem, or is it unworkable? Let us know below.