(Pocket-lint) - Everyone knows by now that you can never be too safe when it comes to using the internet. We're told to use multiple, complex passwords across all our accounts, for instance. Or, better yet, we're supposed to enable two-factor verification wherever possible. Safety measures like that make it harder for hackers to gain access to your private information and steal your identity.

What is two-step verification?

Two-step verification adds a second step to the basic login process (when you enter in your username and password to sign in). Your password is considered a single factor of verification. Adding a second factor will make your account a bit more secure or harder to hack.

Pocket-lint

So, with a second factor added, you'll have to enter two types of credentials in order to access an online account. That second factor can be your fingerprint, a phone, or a number of other things. If it's a phone, you'll get an SMS code sent to your phone. You'll need that code to sign in.

How to enable Amazon's two-step verification

Pocket-lint
  • Go to your local Amazon site
  • Sign into your account
  • Go to "Your Account" from the "Account and Lists" drop-down menu under your name
  • Select "Login and Security"
  • You might be asked to sign in again at this point
  • Click "Edit" on Two-Step Verification (2SV) Settings OR click "Get Started" on Two-Step Verification
  • Once again, you might be asked to sign in
  • You can then enter your phone number to receive a verification code

Your phone should be available whenever you sign in to your Amazon account and must be able to receive SMS messages.

Pocket-lint

Alternatively, rather than having a code texted to you every time, use a two-step authentication app like Authy or Google Authenticator. This is especially handy for when you don't have access to cell service. The app on your phone will still generate a code that you can enter at sign in the same way as with texted codes.

Writing by Maggie Tillman and Elyse Betters.