(Pocket-lint) - Amazon-owned Ring, which makes the popular Ring Video Doorbell, is forcing a second layer of security upon its users.

Following a string of privacy scandals, Ring announced that, starting 18 February 2020, it will require all users to enter a one-time six-digit code (sent through email or SMS) when they login to manage their indoor and outdoor security cameras. In other words, two-factor authentication - also called 2FA or two-step authorization - is now turned on by default on your Ring account.

Ring is also introducing new options for users to control when their data is shared. Here's how these new features work.


How to set up 2FA on your Ring account

Multiple reports have noted that Ring doesn’t warn users when a new device or browser logs into their account, and it's been criticised for not mandating two-factor authentication. Without these basic protections, someone could access your Ring account without your knowledge and potentially spy on your security camera. But Ring's latest security features help address these concerns.

When someone now attempts to log in to your Ring account, you will get an email and SMS message with a six-digit code. Unless they also have access to your email and your SIM or mobile device, they will not have access to this code and thus can't access your account.

To activate two-step authorization, follow these steps:

  1. Open your Ring app.
  2. Tap the three-lined icon on the upper-left corner of your screen to open the side menu.
  3. Tap Account.
  4. Tap Two-factor Authorization under enhanced security.
  5. Tap Turn on Two-factor.
  6. Enter your password.
  7. Enter the mobile phone number for receiving two-factor authorization codes.
  8. Enter the six-digit code that was texted to your phone.
  9. Tap Continue.

The two-factor code will expire after 10 minutes. You can request "Resend code" after 60 seconds if you haven’t received it.


How to stop sharing Ring account data

The Control Center now lets you stop sharing your data with third-party companies. Ring said it's also stopping data sharing with third-party analytics services while it develops an opt-out option. To opt out of third-party data sharing on your Ring app, follow these steps:

  1. Open your Ring app.
  2. Go to the Menu (tap the three horizontal lines on the top left).
  3. Tap Control Center.
  4. Go to Privacy information and control.
  5. Then go to third-party service providers.
  6. Under Personalized advertising, toggle the switch to disable.

When will these features be available?

Ring said its new changes are rolling out now, and all Ring users should have access to them by the end of February 2020.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.