Software

How to turn on two-factor authentication in Mozilla Firefox

Using the TOTP standard, codes can be created to add an extra layer of security to your account.

As many users look to take control of their online privacy and data security, they turn to tools such as two-factor authentication to further secure their accounts. Two-factor authentication requires a second authentication on top of a traditional password for logins.

On Tuesday, Mozilla rolled out two-factor authentication (which it calls two-step authentication) in Firefox accounts, as detailed in a recent blog post. Users have to opt-in to the feature, but it's a simple process. Here's how:

  1. Go to your Firefox Accounts preferences
  2. Click Enable on the Two-step authentication panel
  3. Scan the QR code with a compatible authentication app
  4. Enter the displayed security code

For a more in-depth explanation of the steps, see below.

SEE: Security awareness and training policy (Tech Pro Research)

Two-factor authentication in Firefox is implemented with help from authentication standard TOTP (Time-based One-Time Password), the post said. Apps such as Google Authenticator, Duo, and Authy all use TOTP codes and can be used with two-factor authentication in Firefox. You'll need to download one of these apps before you can enable two-factor authentication in Firefox.

If you don't see the two-step authentication panel, you'll need to enable the feature manually, the post said. Start by clicking the Menu button (it looks like three parallel lines on top of each other) and the click Preferences.

Then, navigate to the Firefox Account panel and click Manage account. Next, click the two-step authentication section to expand it. If you don't see this section, Mozilla offers the following advice:

This feature currently might not appear for all users. If it isn't visible, add &showTwoStepAuthentication=true to the URL and refresh the page.

Open the authentication app you downloaded on your smartphone. Open the app and take a photo of the QR code that will be provided by Firefox in the two-step authentication section. If scanning doesn't work, click Can't Scan Code to manually see the code, Mozilla noted in an additional post.

Once the code is entered, setup is complete. Be sure to download and print the recovery codes and keep them close by.

Once you enable two-factor authentication in Firefox, you'll be required to used the additional security code on every subsequent login.

Also see

firefoxlock.jpg
Image: iStockphoto/ChakisAtelier

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox