Security

How to enable two-step authentication in Dropbox

Concerned about the security of your Dropbox account? For an added layer of protection, follow this process of setting up two-step authentication in Dropbox.

dropboxhero.jpg
Image: Jack Wallen

You may already be using two-step authentication with your Google, Facebook, and Amazon accounts, but what about Dropbox? Considering you sync files to your Dropbox account and share links with other users, two-step authentication is an absolute must.

I'll walk you through the simple process of enabling this extra security layer on your Dropbox account, so that you can rest assured no one is logging into your account without access to your mobile device.

SEE: 2012 Dropbox hack worse than realized, 68M passwords leaked

Downloading an app that generates sign-in codes

As when using two-factor authentication with any service, you'll need an app that will generate your sign-in codes. Two such apps that I prefer are Google Authenticator and Authy.

I prefer Authy, as it allows you to sync multiple devices with your Authy account. To install Authy, follow these steps.

1. Open the Google Play Store on your Android device (this can also be installed on iOS devices through the App Store).

2. Search for Authy.

3. Locate and tap the entry by Authy.

4. Tap Install.

5. Tap Accept.

6. Allow the installation to complete.

SEE: How to set up Authy on multiple devices for more convenient two-factor authentication

Enabling two-step authentication

1. Log into your Dropbox account via a web browser and then click the username drop-down in the upper right corner of the window.

2. Select Settings and then click the Security tab.

3. Under Two-Step Verification, click the link marked Click To Enable.

4. When prompted, click Get Started and enter your Dropbox account password.

5. In the popup window (Figure A), select Use A Mobile App.

6. Click Next, and you will be presented with a QR code.

7. On your mobile device, open Authy, tap the Menu button (three dots in the upper-right corner), and tap Add Account.

Figure A

Figure A
Image: Jack Wallen
You can get your codes either via texts or mobile app.

8. Tap the SCAN QR CODE button (Figure B) and then use the scanner to scan the code presented to you by your Dropbox account.

Figure B

Figure B
Image: Jack Wallen
Adding Drobox to Authy on a OnePlus 3.

9. Give the account a name, tap Done, return to the browser window (where the QR code was presented), and tap Next.

10. Enter the six-digit code presented by Authy into the Dropbox window and click Next.

11. Enter your phone number (to be used for backup codes) and click Next.

12. You'll be presented with a list of one-time use only backup codes. Copy those codes, click Enable Two-Step Verification, and click Done.

You're all set—Dropbox is now secured behind two-step authentication. The only way to get into your Dropbox account is knowing the username/password and having the six-digit login code generated by Authy.

Two-step authentication is a necessity

Two-step authentication might seem like a hassle to some, but considering the protection it gives your data, this should be considered a must-do for everyone. Enable two-step authentication with every service that offers the feature—you won't regret taking the extra time to secure your information.

Also see

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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