A Free and Easy Way to Shop the Web More Securely

Photo (cc) by Michigan Municipal League (MML)

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.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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