“We sent a code to phone number +1(***)***-1234, enter the code to continue”.
This is your favorite notification ever, right? Especially when you left your phone charging in a different room. Fun times.
But whether we like it or not, this is one of the more important notifications we receive. This is for our own protection. A friend of mine, who runs her business on Instagram, was hacked a few weeks ago. Her account was deactivated and she lost thousands of followers and basically has to start from scratch again to build it back up. We can never be too cautious online, especially if you manage your brand or career…or someone else’s brand or career online! Never, ever, take this for granted. Just like when you were little and your mom made you bring a jacket with you. You might not need it, and you’re sure as hell not going to admit that you were wrong, but you were occasionally thankful to have it. That’s what it’s like for these notifications to slide into your texts.
How many of these situations apply to you?
- You have credit cards and financial information saved online or in an app.
- You have personal information stored online or an app.
- You run your business from email, online, or in multiple apps.
- When your browser prompts you to “save your password” you opt-in so you don’t have to remember it.
- You’re not creative with passwords and basically use the same 3 over and over again.
- You’ve worked hard to build your professional web presence through websites and social media platforms.
- You manage information, websites, or social media for clients or businesses.
- You have pictures of yourself, family, and children on your devices.
- You use multiple devices and are constantly on the move.
I bet most of these apply to you, but even if just one of them does, you NEED to be using two-step verification for all of your accounts. If you get hacked, just one simple mishandled tweet could ruin the reputation, or dedicated followers, you’ve worked so hard to build, and don’t even get me started on what could happen if you’re hacked and you manage social media for clients or businesses! That’s a nightmare none of us (or your bosses) want to think about. They are trusting you to do right by them, so you need to trust the process and get over the fact that two-step authentication is annoying or that your passwords are secure enough.
In most apps and on Apple, you can go to your account settings > privacy and/or password to set up two-factor authentication. For Google, go to your account > security > two-step authentication > get started. And for new sites that you sign up for, you are often prompted to set it up when creating your account.
So do the right thing and get double coverage. Please, and thank you.