The cloud can be very useful, but we've been reminded lately that it may not be the most secure way to store data. Last month, cloud storage service Dropbox revealed that it had been hacked, and a "small number" of account email addresses and passwords were taken during the incident. At the time, the folks at Dropbox said that new security features would be coming soon, including two-step verification. That day has arrived, as Dropbox has rolled out two-step verification to give users an extra layer of protection against the more unsavory people of the world.
Setting up feature is quite simple, as all you need to do is head to your Dropbox security page and enable the two-step verification option. Once you've done that, you'll be guided through a setup wizard that will allow you to associate your phone number with your Dropbox account. Dropbox will then text you a six digit verification code anytime you attempt to log in to your account. Alternatively, you can download the service's mobile authenticatior app on Android, iOS, Windows Phone or BlackBerry and generate log in codes using it.
After setting up two-step verification, Dropbox will will give you an emergency code that you can use if you ever lose access to your phone, which will come in handy if your phone ever gets stolen. If your phone turns up missing, you'll need the emergency code to gain access to your account, so it's pretty important that you write it down and keep it in a safe place. Digital Inspiration suggests that you un-link and re-link any phones or tablets you have using Dropbox, as doing so will activate two-step verification on those devices. Another nice thing? You'll get an email notification every time you attempt to log in from an unrecognized device, so you'll know almost instantly if someone is trying to access your account.
Though this two-step verification process would have been an appreciated Dropbox feature from the start, it's good that the service has it available now. It will certainly do something to ease the minds of Dropbox users after last month's hack, and hopefully means that we won't be experiencing more security breaches moving forward. Be sure to check out our story timeline below for more posts on Dropbox!