Security

How to enable two-factor authentication on your LinkedIn account

LinkedIn can be just as essential as Facebook if you need to network for business. Here's how to keep your account safe with two-factor authentication.

Passwords: They simply aren't enough in the modern digital age. If you're going to secure an account you need to rely on more than one method of verifying that it really is you trying to log in.

The most common way to do that is with two-factor authentication, which LinkedIn calls Two-Step Verification. The process for activating it is quite simple, but there is one qualifier: You have to have a phone number on your account since verification codes are sent via text message.

All of these steps can be done via the LinkedIn mobile app, but for simplicity I'll be demonstrating all of them from a browser window.

Adding a phone number to your LinkedIn account

If you already have a phone number associated with your account you can skip this step. For those who don't you'll need to do this before moving on.

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Figure A

Image: TechRepublic/Brandon Vigliarolo

Once you're logged into LinkedIn click on your profile picture in the upper right hand corner to open the Account & Settings menu (Figure A). Click on Privacy & Settings.

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Figure B

Image: TechRepublic/Brandon Vigliarolo

The screen that opens should take you right to the Basics screen of your account settings (Figure B). From there click on Phone Numbers. Doing so will expand that field and give you the option to add a phone number. Click on that link and the screen shown in Figure C will appear.

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Figure C

Image: TechRepublic/Brandon Vigliarolo

SEE: How to set up two-factor authentication for your Google account] (TechRepublic)

Add your phone number to the field provided and click Send Code. You'll need to reenter your password to verify it's still you at the keyboard. Once you do the window will change to show the verification screen in Figure D.

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Figure D

Image: TechRepublic/Brandon Vigliarolo

Wait for the code to come via text message, enter it, and then you'll see it added to your account (Figure E). Make sure you set it as your primary number, which will require you to enter your password again.

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Figure E

Image: TechRepublic/Brandon Vigliarolo

That's it! Now you can move on to activating Two-Step Verification.

Activating Two-Step Verification on your LinkedIn account

If you just added a phone number you'll only need to click on the Privacy tab at the top of the current page. If you're just starting out refer to Figure A to see where to go. Once you're at the Basics page click on the Privacy tab.

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Figure F

Image: TechRepublic/Brandon Vigliarolo

At the bottom of the Privacy tab are your Security settings, where you'll find Two-Step Verification. Click on it to show its options (Figure F). It should show the last four digits of your phone number as the place LinkedIn will send a verification code. Click Turn On, enter your password yet again, and the code will be sent.

SEE: How to set up two-factor authentication on your Microsoft account (TechRepublic)

Enter the code that's texted to you, click Verify, and that's that. Now when you log into LinkedIn from an unrecognized device you'll have to enter a six-digit code to prove it's you.

Also see

About Brandon Vigliarolo

Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.

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