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Dropbox Increases Security with 2-Factor Authentication



Dropbox now offers increased security for users that want to keep their files secure, Over the weekend Dropbox turned on two-factor authentication, a more secure way to log in to Dropbox.

Two-factor authentication combines something you know, a password, and something you have, in this case a phone. When logging in to Dropbox with this security in place users will need to enter a six digit code that changes every 60 seconds.

Even though passwords are easier than ever to crack, two-factor authentication is much harder, providing additional security for files.

Dropbox Security

Use two-factor authentication to secure Dropbox.

Users that want to use Dropbox’s two-factor authentication may need to click-through this special opt-in link to see the settings in Dropbox. For others, it may already show as an option under Security in Account Settings.

To enable two-factor authentication, click enable and choose to receive one time login codes to your phone or by installing an app that generates a new six digit code every minute. Dropbox works with the following apps.

Once the app or the phone number is linked, users will verify this by entering one of the authentication codes. Dropbox then shows a 16 digit one time login code. This is the only way users can get in without their two-factor authentication. I recommend storing it in a password tool like 1Password or LastPass.

Dropbox barcode

Sample barcode used to secure Dropbox.

The authenticator apps will continue to create passcodes even when they are not connected to cellular data, so users can still log in while traveling in areas where they don’t want to pay expensive data roaming fees.

This is a smart way to secure files, especially given number of password leaks we’ve seen in the past year and targeted attempts on specific individuals.

This makes logging in from a browser a small pain, but it’s worth it to keep accounts secure. With Dropbox, the apps on computers and mobile apps will continue to function as normal, so be sure to add passwords to those devices.

For more, check out how to secure Gmail with two-factor authentication using an iPhone or Android.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Peter Austin

    08/28/2012 at 1:30 am

    Why is this a good idea? Serious question. Doesn’t it just tie everything to a ‘phone, which you’re likely to lose/have stolen, meaning that there will be a huge number of support calls from people in this situation, which in turn means an increased risk of social engineering attacks.

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