Twitter expands security with authentication tools for withheld tweets

New device or lost Twitter password? Twitter is making its two-factor authentication process even more secure by adding support for Authenticator and Authy, services that are considered less easily hacked. The added security also comes as Twitter launches new tools designed for greater transparency over tweets and accounts that are withheld in compliance with local laws or government requests.

Twitter’s login uses a two-factor model that requires a phone number for added user protection when logging in on a new device. With the change, users will still need to enter a phone number to get a text with the verification code. But users now have the option to use third-party authenticator apps that allow that code to disappear after about 30 seconds, as The Verge explains, making it harder for a hacker to find the authentication code.

Like before, users have to go into their settings and turn on the two-factor authentication first to add the extra security. With the update, users can also choose Authenticator or Authy inside of the privacy settings by accessing the “review your login verification methods.”

Along with the added security, Twitter is also alerting users with more details when content has been banned by operation of law. Country Withheld Content (CWC) has been around since 2012, a tool that blocks out the content of a tweet prohibited by law rather than just removing the tweet from the feed. The tool is used for laws as well as for court orders in individual cases. For example, the German Network Enforcement Act requires that Twitter blocks “hate speech” for users in Germany.

Now, that same CWC tool will tell users why they can’t see that content. For tweets, the CWC replaces the message with a note saying that the tweet from that user was withheld and where. For court orders and similar restrictions, the alert says that the tweet was withheld “in response to legal demand” while local laws are noted with “based on local law(s).”

Similar changes were also made to the CWC tool when entire accounts are blocked.

Twitter says the update is designed for more transparency, allowing the platform to still comply with laws and court orders while letting users know which of those categories the block falls under. This expands on the company’s related current efforts, including regular transparency reports.


Latest SMS breach could allow hackers access to your online accounts

A new security breach that exposed more than 26 million text messages could be a huge nightmare for users relying on two-factor authentication. Many of the SMS on the database contained security codes and account reset links.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.

These are the 5 best free antivirus apps to protect your MacBook

Malware protection is more important than ever, even if you eschew Windows in favor of Apple's desktop platform. Thankfully, protecting your machine is as easy as picking from the best free antivirus apps for Mac suites.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Social Media

Dine and dash(board): Make a Yelp reservation from your car’s control panel

Already in the car, but can't decide where to eat? Yelp Reservations can now be added to some dashboard touchscreens. Yelp Reservations searches for restaurants within 25 miles of the vehicle's location.

Hackers sold 120 million private Facebook messages, report says

Up to 120 million private Facebook messages were being sold online by hackers this fall. The breach was first discovered in September and the messages were obtained through unnamed rogue browser extensions. 
Social Media

Facebook opens pop-up stores at Macy’s, but they’re not selling the Portal

Facebook has opened pop-up stores at multiple Macy's, though they're not selling Facebook's new Portal device. Instead, they're showcasing small businesses and brands that are already popular on Facebook and Instagram.

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. You're in luck -- we've gathered 23 of the best subreddits to help…
Social Media

Facebook Messenger will soon let you delete sent messages

A feature coming to Facebook Messenger will let you delete a message for up to 10 minutes after you send it. The company promised the feature months ago and this week said it really is on its way ... "soon."
Social Media

Pinterest brings followed content front and center with full-width Pin format

Want to see Pinterest recommendations, or just Pins from followed users? Now Pinners can choose with a Pinterest Following feed update. The secondary feed eliminates recommendation and is (almost) chronological.
Smart Home

Facebook's Alexa-enabled video-calling devices begin shipping

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.
Social Media

Vine fans, your favorite video-looping app is coming back as Byte

Vine fans were left disappointed in 2017 when its owner, Twitter, pulled the plug on the video-looping app. But now one of its co-founders has promised that a new version of the app, called Byte, is coming soon.

Social media use increases depression and anxiety, experiment shows

A study has shown for the first time a causal link between social media use and lower rates of well-being. Students who limited their social media usage to 30 minutes a day showed significant decreases in anxiety and fear of missing out.
Social Media

Twitter boss hints that an edit button for tweets may finally be on its way

Twitter has been talking for years about launching an edit button for tweets, but it still hasn't landed. This week, company boss Jack Dorsey addressed the matter again, describing a quick-edit button as "achievable."