Facebook tweaks 2-factor authentication so you don’t have to give up your phone number


If, like some Facebook users, you’ve opted not to turn on two-factor authentication for your Facebook account because you’re concerned about what the social network will do with your phone number, we’ve got some good news for you. Securing the thing you use to keep up with your family (or potential romantic partners) no longer requires that you give up your digits to do so.

Facebook has allowed for two-factor authentication without needing to turn over your phone number. Perhaps you just don’t like the idea of anyone having your number, perhaps you just don’t trust Facebook as much as you used to. We won’t judge. All you really need to know is that you don’t have to give that info to the social network in order to secure your account now. And here’s how you do it:

The screen you’ll see when setting up two-factor authentication on Facebook.

What you need to do in order to set up phone-number-less two-factor authentication is to get your hands on an authentication app (you can use Google Authenticator on Android or iOS, the TypingDNA Chrome extension authenticator, or Authy). Once that’s done, you can hit your Facebook account.

Go to Settings, find Security and Login, and then select Two-factor authentication — take the shortcut there by clicking here — and you’ll be able to start the setup process. Once you’ve clicked Get Started and reentered your password, you’ll get the option to complete setup using an authentication app. Choosing this will give you a QR code, which can be scanned with your authentication app (or by the browser extension — magic!), once you’ve opted to add Facebook as a new login.

Your authenticator will kick out a 6-digit code, you can type that into Facebook’s text bar and you’re off. Until your cookies are cleared on your browser or you attempt to log in on a new browser or device, that is. But it’ll make your Facebook account that much more secure. And you won’t have had to turn over your phone number to Facebook — though if you use WhatsApp, we may have some bad news for you…


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