Amazon quietly embraces two-factor authentication ahead of holiday shopping seasonBy Valeria Merchan
Amazon has quietly rolled out support for two-factor authentication, allowing shoppers to add an extra layer of security to their accounts. The move couldn't have come at a better time - just ahead of the holiday shopping season - although it's a bit puzzling as to why it was done in secret.
Engadget's Richard Lawler first noticed the option for two-factor authentication, sometimes referred to as two-step verification, during a routine password change session (which by the way, isn't a bad idea at all). Lawler said an Amazon engineer told him the feature launched a couple of weeks ago following a private beta.
Nevertheless, the option is now available and it'd be a wise idea to enable it. To do so, simply head to your Amazon account settings page and look for Advanced Security Settings.
For those new to two-factor authentication, it's essentially exactly what it sounds like. Logging into a site or service with the added layer of protection requires a password as well as an additional security code, typically sent to your smartphone in the form of a text message, through an automated voice call or via an app like Google Authenticator.
Two-factor authentication is one of the best methods we currently have to combat the risk of unauthorized account access. It is a compromise, however, as you're essentially sacrificing convenience for the sake of security. Amazon notes in its FAQ that you can set it up in a way that it won't ask for a security code when signing in on computers and devices you routinely use. After the first login, you'll only need to enter your password as usual to access your account.
Image courtesy Shutterstock