Cyber crime is without a doubt a growing threat to the online community. No wonder every major website has undertaken the task of improving their security against these very threats. The most recent entry into the list was the social networking site Tumblr. The website added a two-step authentication method of logging in which enhanced their security and reduced the chances of unauthorized access.
The traditional method was, as it has always been, to simply login with a preset user id and password. Along with the user id and password users would now also need their cellular phones to access their accounts. The two set authentication method is in fact SMS based. Whenever a user wishes to login, a text message would be sent to their cellular device. This message would contain a security code which, along with their user ids and password, users would need to gain access to their accounts.
This code is generated each time an attempt is made to access any account and changes after each and every login. Users would hence be automatically notified each time an unauthorized user tries to gain access to their account.
This new security upgrade will not be forced onto any user but will be provided as an option under user settings. Users will have the choice of either utilizing it or even ignoring it completely. While this new feature is obviously presented as a choice, Tumblr strongly recommends that users opt for it. The website would also be joining the ranks of Gmail and Twitter that already make use of this form of security.
Adding the two-step authentication to enhance security might very well be Tumblr’s reaction to numerous security breaches in the past. Tumblr along with its parent company Yahoo have on many occasions had to deal with unauthorized break ins, most recently and/or most importantly the one that occurred in July. During this July a major glitch revealed the user ids and passwords of several accounts leaving them completely exposed to hackers and unauthorized users.
The steps of authenticating this method were described by the company on their webpage. Users would first need to visit the Account settings and click the enable check box next to the two-step authentication icon. Users would then be required to add their mobile phone number as a form of verification. If the process is followed correctly all future logins would require a six digit code along with the user ids and passwords for users to successfully access their accounts.
Tumblr also added that once users actually decide to use the two-step authentication, they will be required to create a one-time use password to login through mobile apps. The company mentioned that users would not need to memorize these passwords as they would only be used once.
This method might not completely stop hackers from gaining access to an account but will surely make it much more difficult to do so. It might even to some degree deter most of them away. The company on their website wrote that security can mean a lot of things in this life but nothing says security like Tumblr’s two-step authentication.
By Hammad Ali