Twitter SMS two-factor authentication to attract a fee

Twitter SMS two-factor authentication to attract a fee

Twitter announced recently that SMS two-factor authentication will now attract a fee and will no longer be a free feature for users. Only Twitter Blue subscribers will have access to use text messages as a two-factor authentication method from March 20.

According to a tweet from Twitter, “while SMS is a popular form of 2FA, it can easily be abused. Thus, the platform is locking the privilege of using its worst form of authentication behind an $8 subscription (or $11 if you use an iOS device). The site then suggests that non-Twitter Blue subscribers “consider using an authentication app or security key method instead.” So it’s either that or wait until Twitter turns it off for you on March 20.

The change will take place on March 20. Twitter users will have two other ways to authenticate their Twitter log-ins at no cost: a mobile authentication app and a security key.

Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, requires users to type in their password and enter a code or security key to access their accounts. It is one of the primary methods for users to keep their Twitter accounts secure.

Twitter Blue, which costs $11 a month for iOS and Android subscribers, adds a blue checkmark to the account of anyone willing to pay for one.

As of 2021, only 2.6% of Twitter users had a 2FA method enabled – and of those, 74.4% used SMS authentication, a Twitter account security report said.

According to Twitter, non-subscribers will have 30 days to disable the text method and enroll in another way to sign in using 2FA. Disabling text message 2FA won’t automatically disassociate the user’s phone number from their account.

This decision comes as a security measure against a telecommunications company using bot accounts “to Pump 2FA SMS”, which  cost Twitter a loss of $60 million a year “on scam SMS.”

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