How to activate two-step authentication to prevent theft in emails and social networks

Two-step verification protects security in case passwords have been leaked (Stock Vector) (Trifonenko/)

To protect the account security of mail, social networks or digital wallets it is not enough to just use a strong password. It is necessary to have at least one additional layer of security, such as two-factor authentication, which can be configured very easily from the settings menu.

When this feature is enabled, upon login you will be prompted the user not only enter the key but also a security code that is received by SMS or some authentication app. Also, it is possible to configure the system so that this second instance of verification occurs through a physical key that is inserted into the USB port of the equipment.

Physical key for two-step authentication (Yubikey)
Physical key for two-step authentication (Yubikey)

Why is it important and necessary to activate two-step authentication?

There are million passwords access to emails, social networks and applications of all kinds that are filtered either by hacks or in cases of phishing. These data are usually disseminated in the deep webwhich includes content that is not indexed by conventional search engines.

Although there are also known cases in which this information circulates, even if only for a limited period, in the Internet superficial as we know the portion of cyberspace that we navigate daily and that is accessed by traditional engines known to all.

The circulation of this personal data puts the security of user accounts at continuous risk. But if the second authentication factor is activated, this risk is mitigated since it will not be enough for the cybercriminal to know the user’s password to access his account: he will need the verification code, or physical key, if that method was used, to set the second instance of security.

Here’s how to set up 2-Step Verification on different platforms. As you will see, in most cases the steps are very similar: you must enter the Settings menu, look for the option that says Security or similar and then enter Authentication where you must configure the second instance by which you want to verify the identity. It can be by SMS, a third party authentication service like Google Authenticator, biometrics (such as a fingerprint, for example) or a physical key.


Two-step verification adds an extra layer of security
Two-step verification adds an extra layer of security

To activate two-step verification, go to the Account panel within Gmail, which can be accessed from the email (both the web and mobile versions) or by clicking here. Then you have to enter the Security section and “Verification in two steps”. Once there, you have to choose how you want to receive that verification code or token.


The option is found in the account security section
The option is found in the account security section

In Instagram the system is very simple, you have to go to Settings, then Security and “Two-step authentication”, where you must choose, as in the previous cases, how you want to receive that verification token.


Inside the settings menu
Within the Facebook “Security and login” configuration menu, select the “Use two-step authentication” option.

From the configuration menu, go to “Security and login” and there choose “Two-step authentication”. You must choose the desired mode: SMS, authentication application or whatever corresponds.


From the app, press the profile picture and several options will be displayed. You have to enter where it says Settings and privacythen click where it says Security and account access/Security/Two-Factor Authentication and there choose the second authentication method.

Twitter two-step authentication
This is how two-step authentication is established on Twitter

Free market

Log in to the account profile, then go to Security/Two-Factor Authentication and set the desired option for two-step verification.

How to establish two-step authentication in MercadoLibre
How to establish two-step authentication in MercadoLibre


You have to enter the option “Login and security” and then “Verification in two steps”, as mentioned in the previous cases.

It is convenient to activate this second authentication factor in all the apps (whether they are transport, delivery or whatever) where the debit or credit card data has been loaded.


A university will open a free Cybersecurity career: they estimate that in 5 years 10,000 professionals will be needed

Cybersecurity is becoming a priority for consumers

TikTok accounts and Telegram groups deactivated for cybercrimes