How to enable two-factor authentication on every social platform (and yes, you should)

How to enable two-factor authentication on every social platform (and yes, you should)

One of the best ways to protect your accounts from unauthorized intruders is to set up two-factor authentication (aka 2FA) for them. 2FA is an extra layer of security that makes it so a hacker needs more than just your username and password to get into your account.

2FA usually plays out as a company sending a randomly generated number to your phone via SMS and asking you to enter it on the screen when you’re logging into an account for the first time on a new device. 

As social media platforms are some of the most common sites of account hacks and login shenanigans, taking a little bit of time right now to turn on all these 2FAs will potentially save you time and headaches in the future.

2FA on Facebook

To set up 2FA on Facebook, first enter your settings menu (the gear icon) that appears when you click your profile photo at the top right of the screen on desktop or the burger menu icon (three small lines stacked on each other) on mobile. Once on the settings page, click “security and login” near the top of the left sidebar menu.

facebook settings tab

Credit: Screenshot: Facebook
screenshot of facebook security page

Credit: Screenshot: Facebook

Then scroll down and click “use two-factor authentication.” On the next page, you can select one of three ways to authenticate.

screenshot of Facebook double authentication page

Credit: Screenshot: Facebook

Since both are Meta platforms, Insta’s process is fairly similar to Facebook’s. First, tap the burger menu icon on the top right of your profile page. Next, tap the gear icon to get to settings. Then you’ll need to choose “security.” After that, just select “two-factor authentication” and you’re nearly home free.

screenshot of instagram security page

Credit: Screenshot: Instagram
screenshot of instagram security page

Credit: Screenshot: Instagram

Once again, you’ll be asked to select your preferred additional factor.

screenshot of two-factor page on Twitter

Credit: Screenshot: Twitter

From the Twitter settings menu (accessed by clicking the gear icon), you should click on “security and account access.” Then just “security.” Next, you’ll see a box that explains what two-factor authentication does. Click the “>” symbol to the left of that paragraph to enter Twitter’s 2FA menu and turn it on.

2FA on TikTok

In your TikTok profile page, tap the burger menu icon at the top right, then “settings and privacy” on the menu that pops up below. On the next page, select “security and login.” Then tap “two-step verification.”

screenshot of tiktok security page

Credit: Screenshot: TikTok
screenshot of tiktok security page

Credit: Screenshot: TikTok

All that’s left to do on the following page is select your preferred method.

2FA on Snapchat

Some of you out there are still using Snapchat, so you might as well be safe while you do so. To turn on 2FA there, tap the gear icon in “my profile.” Next, tap “two-factor authentication.” Then select “continue.” From there, you just need to choose whether you want to use SMS or an authentication app.

2FA on YouTube

Your YouTube account is tied to your Google account, so 2FA may already be turned on there. Google push two-factor pretty hard. On the off chance it isn’t, go into your account’s profile page by clicking on your profile photo. Next click “security” on the left sidebar menu. Scroll down a tiny bit and you’ll see a “Two-Step Verification” toggle switch in a box titled “Signing in to Google.”

screenshot of YouTube security page

Credit: Screenshot: YouTube

On the next page, you’ll see an explainer about 2FA. Click “get started.” After that, you’ll be asked to sign into your account again as an extra layer of security. From there, you’ll just have to select the method you’d like to use and confirm with a test run.

screenshot of YouTube security page

Credit: Screenshot: YouTube

OK, now all your social accounts are locked down. Browse and lurk without worrying about someone breaking into your account (just don’t accidentally like your former fling’s 2013 summer camp photo).