Twitter began introducing new technology on Wednesday to shore up security for users, responding to a spate of recent attacks on prominent accounts including those owned by the Associated Press and Financial Times.
Twitter said in a blog post it has begun to introduce "login verification," a form of two-factor authentication in security industry parlance. The feature asks users to confirm their identity after a typical log-in, by sending a six-digit code to smartphones that must then be typed in to complete a sign-on.
The microblogging service, considered one of the most important communications platforms today, has not done enough to help protect users' accounts, critics say. That criticism intensified after a fake tweet sent from the AP's account in April about a non-existent White House explosion briefly roiled U.S. financial markets.
"There's a second check to make sure it's really you," the company said on its official blog.
"Of course, even with this new security option turned on, it’s still important for you to use a strong password and follow the rest of our advice for keeping your account secure", the post added.
Twitter said that the new release is built on top of Twitter via SMS. "So we need to be able to send a text to your phone before you can enroll in login verification (which may not work with some cell phone providers). However, much of the server-side engineering work required to ship this feature has cleared the way for us to deliver more account security enhancements in the future. Stay tuned", it said.
Repeated hacking incidents have raised questions about Twitter's credibility and reliability just as it is beginning to assume a central role in a fast-changing media landscape, with the volume of tweets rising to more than 400 million a day.
You can watch a video of how Twitter's new authentication process works below:
With inputs from Reuters