Two-step authentication made easy with Authy

Stop with the excuse that two-step authentication is too much work. Use Authy and thank yourself later.

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Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

If you're not using two-step authentication, you should be. I realize how big of a hassle it can appear to be at first, but in the end, security should be your utmost priority when it comes to your online accounts.

Let's be frank: Logging into an account via two-step authentication takes more time than logging in normally. Typically it requires that you enter your password on a website or mobile app and then wait for a text message with a token. The token is then used to complete the login process. Indeed, it takes a few extra seconds of your time, but those few seconds keep your data safe.

To help streamline things, I recommend using Authy. Originally available for mobile platforms such as BlackBerry, iOS and Android, Authy was recently made available on Windows, OS X, and Linux. With the support of almost all platforms, it's hard to find a reason you shouldn't use the app.

In addition to Authy's support for multiple platforms, it also supports providing two-step tokens from multiple online services like Gmail, Dropbox, and Facebook to name just a few.

Perhaps the best part of Authy is the fact you can sync your account across multiple devices, meaning no matter what device you find yourself using, you'll have quick access to your tokens.

Specifically if you're on a computer, you no longer have to wait for a text or take your phone out of your bag just to get the token. Simply launch the app, enter your Authy password and copy the token.

In order to install the computer application, you'll need to have Chrome installed. Don't worry, if you don't want to use Chrome after the app has been installed, you never have to open it again.

Next, download Authy (click on the icon for your respective OS) and log in to your account. If you don't have an Authy account yet, you'll be asked to set one up. An Authy account is free. After you login, you'll be walked through adding Web services to the app.

Should you have any questions on how two-step (or factor) authentication works, make sure to check out Seth Rosenblatt's extensive FAQ on the subject.

 

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