Twitter to Charge for Multi-Factor Authentication:

What You Need to Know


Twitter recently announced that it will start charging users for its SMS multi-factor authentication (MFA) service. This change will come into effect on March 20, 2023. In this blog, we’ll discuss what this means for Twitter users and how they can continue to protect their accounts without paying for SMS MFA.


What is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)?

Multi-factor authentication is a security feature that requires users to provide two or more forms of verification to access their accounts. The most common forms of verification are a password and a code sent to the user’s mobile phone or email address. MFA provides an additional layer of security and helps protect against unauthorized access to user accounts.


Why is Twitter Charging for MFA?

Twitter has stated that it will start charging for its SMS MFA service to cover the costs of maintaining the feature. It also mentioned possible security issues. According to a statement from Twitter, “We have seen phone-number based 2FA be used – and abused – by bad actors.” It continues, “So starting today, we will no longer allow accounts to enroll in the text message/SMS method of 2FA unless they are Twitter Blue subscribers.”

Twitter CEO, Elon Musk, additionally suggested in a tweet, “Twitter is getting scammed by phone companies for $60M/year of fake 2FA SMS messages,” but offered no evidence to support this claim. Many have criticized Elon Musk for this move as a dangerous security risk to its users.


How Much Will Twitter Charge for MFA?

Twitter has not yet announced the exact cost of its SMS MFA service. However, it has said that the price will be “affordable and competitive”. The premium Twitter subscription, Twitter Blue, costs $8 per month and will continue to have the SMS MFA feature available. Any non-Twitter Blue account that is still using text authentication (SMS MFA) will have the feature disabled automatically.

It’s worth noting Twitter will not be charging for its standard security features, such as password reset and account recovery. Basic users can also continue to use other forms of MFA including authenticator apps and security keys.


How Can Twitter Users Continue to Protect Their Accounts?

While SMS MFA was an effective way to protect your Twitter account, there are other steps you can take to enhance your account security. Here are a few best practices:

1. Use a Strong Password: Make sure your password is strong and unique. Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.

2. Use an Authenticator App: Setup your account via a trusted authenticator app, such as Duo Mobile, Authy, or Google Authenticator.

3. Be Wary of Phishing: Phishing is a common tactic used by cybercriminals to steal login credentials. Be cautious of links or attachments in emails or direct messages from unknown sources.

4. Monitor Your Account: Regularly check your account activity to detect any unauthorized access. Twitter provides a log of recent logins and activity that can be accessed from your account settings.


In Conclusion

While it’s unfortunate that Twitter is starting to charge for its SMS MFA service, there are still plenty of ways to protect your account without paying for it. By following the best practices outlined in this post, you can help ensure that your account is secure and protected from unauthorized access.


Additional Reading:

What is MFA, and Why Do You Need It?

Concerned About Cybersecurity? Here are 4 Easy Steps for Staying Secure in 2023

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