In our continued series on enabling two step verification to ensure more security for online accounts, we take a look at Dropbox. You might recall that only recently there were reports of an attack on the cloud storage service where a number of passwords were purportedly leaked online. And although Dropbox came out with a statement that they were not hacked, its becoming clear that no one can be trusted. Which brings us again to the need for enabling two step verification. In this tutorial, we show you how to step up two step verification for Dropbox.
Two step verification in Dropbox comprises of using your username and password as well as a 6 digit code that will be sent to a trusted device such as your mobile phone. When you enable two step verification, you will receive a 16 digit backup code from Dropbox. This is like the recovery key you use for securing your Apple ID. You must write down this key and store it in a safe place and in the unfortunate situation where you lose your phone, or are unable to generate a security code, you can use this as a key to access your Dropbox data.
Enabling Two Step Verification for Dropbox
Before you proceed with the setup make sure that you are logged off all Dropbox accounts on your PC and mobile. The process will NOT work if you are connected or logged in. Also ensure that if you are using the app, the time on your PC is exact to the minute. If your codes keep showing up as invalid, make sure you stop the attempts, check if you are signed out of Dropbox and try again.
1. Sign in to your Dropbox account.
2. Click on your name displayed at the top right corner of the screen and select Settings.
3. On the Settings page, select the Security tab.
4. In the Two-step verification section, click Enable.
5. In the Enable two-step verification pop up window, click Get started.
6. You will be asked to reenter your password. Go ahead and input your password. Then click Next.
7. In the next screen you have the option to choose text messages or mobile app. In the case of text messages, security codes will be sent to your mobile phone. In the case of mobile app, an authenticator app must be used to generate security codes.
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Two Step Verification via Text Messages
If you choose the first option, (Text Messages), you will notice the option to enter your phone number. You will then receive a text message with a security code on that mobile phone. Input the code on the website, when prompted to complete the setup.
Two Step Verification via Mobile App
You can download one of the apps listed below to generate a time sensitive security code.
- Google Authenticator (Android/iPhone/BlackBerry)
- Duo Mobile (Android/iPhone)
- Amazon AWS MFA (Android)
- Authenticator (Windows Phone 7)
I’ll show you how to set up the Google Authenticator app on an Android to complete the two step verification for Dropbox.
1. Download the app from the Google Play Store.
2. Launch it on your Android and tap begin Setup. Tap scan a barcode and scan the barcode that you on your screen into the app.
3. You will now start seeing a six digit code that is refreshed every few minutes. Input that code in your Dropbox screen.
4. Confirm your phone number in the next screen.
5. Copy down the 16 digit emergency code and keep it safe. Finally click Enable two-step verification.
From now on, when you sign in to the Dropbox website or link a new device, you’ll need to enter a security code from your Authenticator app. The codes will be available even if you don’t have cellular access so don’t worry.