No more two-factor authentication for Twitter's free users starting March 20 — here’s how to protect your account

No more two-factor authentication for Twitter's free users starting March 20 — here’s how to protect your account
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  • Twitter will start charging people who use SMS-based two-factor authentication features.
  • Twitter will remove SMS-based 2FA from free accounts starting March 20.
  • Users can still set up 2FA using third-party authentication apps.
Twitter announced that SMS-based two-factor authentication would be disabled for users not subscribed to Twitter Blue starting from 20th March 2023. Twitter suggests utilizing third-party apps or a security key instead. However, 74.4% of active Twitter users relying on SMS authentication will have one month to switch or potentially lose protection.

If you are seeking more information about two-factor authentication or looking for ways to secure your social media accounts, the following details can help you.

What is two-factor authentication?

Two-factor authentication, also known as 2FA, adds an extra layer of security to online accounts after a user has logged in with a password. The second step of 2FA aims to prove the user's identity and provide additional protection in case the password is compromised.

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There are various methods of 2FA, including authenticator apps and SMS-based authentication, where a unique code is sent to the user to enter back into the website.

Many online services, such as social media platforms, banks, and workplace tools, require 2FA to protect users' accounts from potential breaches.


Twitter recently announced in a blog post that they would be discontinuing message-based 2FA for non-Twitter Blue subscribers. Twitter stated that they have observed bad actors exploiting this method of authentication.

Starting from March 20, 2023, non-Twitter Blue subscribers will no longer be able to use text messages as a 2FA method. Accounts that currently have SMS 2FA enabled will have it automatically disabled. However, it is important to note that disabling phone-based authentication will not unlink your phone number from your Twitter account.

What can you do to secure your account?

One alternative to Twitter's own 2FA service is using a third-party authenticator app. Google Authenticator is a widely used third-party app for 2FA. In addition, some password manager apps, such as the one integrated into Apple's iOS, can also act as authenticators for Twitter and other sites.

If you choose to set up 2FA via the Twitter app on your mobile device, it will guide you through the authentication process.

Another option to consider is using a security key. When logging into websites, you can insert this USB drive into your computer to authenticate yourself.

How do you enable Two Factor Authentication for free?

Before we dive into the steps to enable 2FA without purchasing a subscription, it's important to note that you will need to download a trustworthy third-party authentication app from the Play Store. Several options include Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, and more.
  • To begin, you must open Twitter and navigate to the Settings section.
  • Next, users should tap on ‘Security and Account Access.’
  • Then, tap on ‘Security and Two-Factor Authentication.’
  • Enable the ‘Authentication App’ option and tap ‘Get Started.’ You will then be provided with a QR code.
  • Open the third-party authentication app you downloaded and use it to scan the QR code displayed on the Twitter app.
  • After scanning the QR code, enter the six-digit numeric code you receive in the authentication app.
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