Twitter rule change will see users charged for text security

Twitter users have been dealt a blow – as they will soon be forced to pay for two-factor security. The social media giant, bought by Elon Musk last year, announced the plan on Friday.

The move means only paying subscribers to Twitter Blue – which costs $8 a month – will have access to two-factor authentication via text message.

“Effective March 20, 2023, only Twitter Blue subscribers will be able to use text messages as their two-factor authentication method. Other accounts can use an authentication app or security key for 2FA,” the company said in a tweet.

Two-factor authentication is meant to make an account more secure by requiring confirmation of users’ identity through a second method besides a standard password.

Twitter currently allows 2FA by text message, authentication app or security key. However, the company believes text based 2FA is being abused by “bad actors”.

In a blog post linked to the tweet, it said: “While historically a popular form of 2FA, unfortunately we have seen phone-number based 2FA be used – and abused – by bad actors.

“So starting today, we will no longer allow accounts to enrol in the text message/SMS method of 2FA unless they are Twitter Blue subscribers. The availability of text message 2FA for Twitter Blue may vary by country and carrier.”

Non-Twitter blue subscribers will have 30 days to disable this method of 2FA and change to another.

Twitter encourages its users to use two-factor authentication to help make their accounts more secure.

The news is the latest in a shakeup at the tech giant since billionaire Musk purchased the company for $44 billion last year.

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Since the takeover, the website has experienced a number of changes, including the introducing of Twitter Blue.

The premium subscriber service costs $8 per month and gives the user access to various perks, including the blue tick verification symbol previously reserved for journalists, politicians, celebrities and other notable individuals who others might want to impersonate.

However, Musk has promised to find a new CEO to run Twitter after asking users whether he should continue to run the social media giant in an informal poll posted to the site.

Most voted to oust him with 57.5 percent of respondents saying he should step down.

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