A Free and Easy Way to Shop the Web More Securely

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Before you hunt down all those Cyber Monday deals, check your online account settings for a two-step verification option.

Fortune calls this cyber-security feature, also known as two-step or two-factor authentication, “one of the simplest measures you can take to lock down your digital persona”:

“Think of it as adding another lock to your money vault.”

With two-step verification enabled, you — and potential cyber-crooks — will need more than one password to access any online accounts for which you’ve enabled the feature.

After entering your standing password, you’ll generally be asked for a one-time string of characters sent to your phone, often via text message or special app.

Amazon is among the latest retailers to offer two-step verification. Here is how the e-commerce giant, for example, describes its process. (Find out how to enable the feature.):

You’ll enter your sign in information like you normally would, but then you’ll be prompted to enter a security code. You can receive this security code in a variety of ways depending on the option you select during sign up, including text message, voice call, or authenticator app.

According to a website that lists other sites that offer two-step verification, retailers that offer some form of the security feature include:

  • Apple
  • eBay
  • Etsy

Some banks, investment service providers, email providers and cloud storage companies — among other types of websites — also offer two-step verification.

Do you know of other websites that offer this security feature? Let us know below or on our Facebook page.