Aug. 27, 2012 at 4:31 PM ET
After some security woes, the folks at Dropbox have finally made two-step verification available to their users. Here's what that means, why it's important and how to use it.
Two-step (or two-factor) verification means that logging into an account requires two proofs of identity — typically a password and a temporary code sent to a cellphone or generated by an app. This process keeps your account safe even if your password is somehow compromised (or if the cellphone which receives the temporary codes is misplaced). Without both items, it's not possible to log into the account.
In order to enable two-step verification on your Dropbox account, you'll need to sign into the Dropbox website and open your account menu (by clicking on your name, in the upper-right corner). Once in there, open the settings and click on the "security" tab. In the "account sign in" section, you'll find the option to turn on two-step verification. You'll be asked to enter your Dropbox password and then get the option of receiving your temporary security codes via text message or by using a mobile app. You'll also be prompted to write down a backup code, which you should keep somewhere safe — so that you have it in case your phone ever disappears.
And that's it. After you've gone through these steps, you'll use your password and a temporary security code to log into Dropbox. And you'll rest easily, knowing that your account is far more secure.
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