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In the last year, there has been a trend of big companies getting hacked and user data being stolen. The most notable hack was Sony, who got hacked twice, and exposed approximately 77 million accounts. User passwords and credit card information were leaked online. Other notable companies that had their user information stolen include LinkedIn, Last.fm, and more recently, Dropbox.

Dropbox has become a ubiquitous cloud sync and storage locker. Many users keep important files in the cloud as back up. With huge companies showing vulnerability to hackers, users are finding it harder and harder to trust companies with personal information. Thankfully, Dropbox isn't taking its hacking laying down. Over the weekend it introduced 2 factor authentication in beta for its service. Today, Dropbox took the service out of beta and is now available to all users.

Here's how to enable 2 factor authentication in Dropbox.

Before we begin, let's go over what 2 factor authentication is in the first place. Basically, users will have to use two modes of verifying who they are instead of the usual requirement of a user name and password, which can easily be obtained in the event of a hack. The second mode of authentication can be a random code sent to your mobile phone or an app that generates random codes on a time base. This makes it much more difficult to hack someone's account as you will have to have access to a person's phone.

dropbox login

To enable 2 factor authentication, log into Dropbox from any web browser. After you're in your account, click on your name in the top right and go to 'Settings.'

dropbox settings

From the settings, navigate to the 'Security' tab where you'll find all of the apps you've given access to your Dropbox credentials. This is good time to audit which applications you do and do not want to have access to your Dropbox.

dropbox security settingsAt the bottom of the 'Security' tab, you will find a small box titled 'Account sign in' with an option to enable 'Two-step verification.' Click that and a setup guide will appear.

You are then given a choice to choose between using text messages or a mobile app like Google Authenticator to generate random time-based security codes. This is great if you've set up two-step verification for your Google account. You've secured your Google account too, right?

dropbox text or app

If you choose to use an app like Google Authenticator, open it and hit the menu button. Choose to 'Add account' and select the option to scan a barcode. This will launch any built in barcode scanner like Google Googles. Hold your phone up to the QR code and it will automatically detect it, setting up your app. All you have to do is enter in the code the app provides and you're done!

google authenticator dropbox

From now on when you want to access Dropbox, you will have to provide a code after entering your login and password. You can tick the check box to 'trust this computer' so you won't have to keep logging into Dropbox every time. You can now rest easy knowing your Dropbox is secure.

2-step verification code dropbox

Commented

  • Patric |
    31/08/12
    Patric

    It would be nice to see more of the leading companies in their respective verticals start giving us users the perfect balance between security and user experience by implementing 2FA which allows us to telesign into our accounts. I know some will claim that 2FA makes things more complicated, but the slight inconvenience each time you log in is worth the confidence of knowing your info is secure. I'm hoping that more companies start to offer this awesome functionality. This should be a prerequisite to any system that wants to promote itself as being secure.

  • lewis.leong |
    07/09/12
    lewis.leong

    I completely agree, Patric. Apps like Google Authenticator make 2 step verification a breeze. Passwords have never been very secure and are a pain to manage, which makes breaking into accounts pretty simple as hackers become more and more skilled.

23/09/14
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