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Twitter now lets you enable 2FA without asking for your phone number

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Twitter has changed its security settings to let you use two-factor authentication (2FA) without having to give the service your phone number. Back when Twitter relied on SMS to send users their six-digit 2FA codes this requirement made more sense, but now that it allows them use authentication apps or security keys, however, asking for phone numbers is increasingly unnecessary.

This is a very positive development from Twitter. Not only is SMS vulnerable to SIM-swapping attacks (just ask Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey), but Twitter also recently admitted to “unintentionally” using people’s phone numbers for advertising purposes. Authentication apps are more secure, and you can use them without having to give any more personal details to Twitter than you absolutely need to.

Twitter Safety@TwitterSafety

We’re also making it easier to secure your account with Two-Factor Authentication. Starting today, you can enroll in 2FA without a phone number. https://twitter.com/TwitterSafety/status/1134174785137782789 …Twitter Safety@TwitterSafetyWe want to give you the most secure experience on Twitter. Today, we updated our login process to support WebAuthn for an enhanced Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), so you can easily and securely authenticate your login with a single tap. Read more below.https://blog.twitter.com/engineering/en_us/topics/infrastructure/2019/webauthn.html …1,0019:01 PM – Nov 21, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy537 people are talking about this

The most secure 2FA method, however, is using a security key, since these don’t rely on you having to type in a six-digit code that a sophisticated hacker could intercept. However, while Twitter supports these as a 2FA method, it’s not ready to let its users rely on them entirely. Responding to a user complaint, one Twitter engineer noted that security keys currently aren’t supported outside of Twitter on the web, so it still asks users to have another 2FA method enabled as a backup.

If you’ve given Twitter your phone number and you want to delete it, then head into settings in the app or on Twitter’s website, and then click into the “Account” menu. From here, tap your phone number, and then select the delete option. If you’re currently using SMS as a 2FA method then you’ll be warned that deleting it will turn it off, so be sure to set up an alternative 2FA method such as an authentication app to use in its place.

Source:
https://www.theverge.com/2019/11/22/20977436/twitter-2fa-phone-number-authentication-app-security-key

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WhatsApp to stop working on older phones, millions to be affected

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If you are using an older phone and you are wired on WhatsApp, you need a phone upgrade urgently. WhatsApp has announced it will stop working on millions of phones from 31 December, as they have reached their lifespan.

That means users on a variety of older handsets could end up losing access to the messaging app.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has confirmed via its support page that it will stop supporting these devices on December 31, 2019.

The company says that any phone running the Windows Mobile operating system will not be supported after this date.

However, that’s not all. Any iPhone running software older than iOS 7 will no longer be supported and neither will any Android device with version 2.3.7 installed.

The iOS and Android blocks won’t happen this month but will take place on February 1, 2020.

WhatsApp says that anyone using these older phones can no longer create new accounts or reverify existing accounts.

‘Because we no longer actively develop for these operating systems, some features might stop functioning at any time,’ the company said in a blog post announcing the cut-off dates.

WhatsApp regularly stops support for older devices, forcing users to keep up to date if they want to continue using the app.

Here are all the dates that WhatsApp stopped working on older phone systems.

June 30, 2017 – Nokia Symbian S60
December 31, 2017 – BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10

December 31, 2018 – Nokia S40

December 31, 2019 – Windows Phone OS

February 1, 2020 – iOS 7 and Android 2.3.7

Source:
https://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2019/12/09/whatsapp-to-stop-working-on-older-phones-millions-to-be-affected/

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Instagram to require birth dates in move to block under-13 users

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Instagram said Wednesday it would require new users to verify they are at least 13 when they join the visually focused, Facebook-owned social network.

The move aims to help Instagram comply with a US law and its own policies that require any user to be at least 13.

“Asking for this information will help prevent underage people from joining Instagram, help us keep young people safer and enable more age-appropriate experiences overall,” an Instagram blog said.

The company said the age information would not be visible to others but would help in creating “age-appropriate and safer experiences” on the social network with more than a billion users.

It was not immediately clear how Instagram would protect against young people providing false information, which has been a persistent issue for social media.

The announcement came a day after a TechCrunch article which noted that Instagram did not follow the example of most of its social media peers in checking the ages of users, which could put the network in violation of the Child Online Privacy Protection Act.

The article noted that Facebook and Instagram both employed moderators who may lock the accounts of any users they suspect are under 13.

Source:
https://punchng.com/instagram-to-require-birth-dates-in-move-to-block-under-13-users/

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Facebook tests tool that allows users to export photos to Google

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Facebook today announced a new tool that would allow users to transfer their photos and videos from Facebook to other storage services, starting with Google Photos.

This tool would be similar to the one we already have that allows us to download our Facebook information. While I’m sure many users already have their photos backed up to Google’s repositories, those who don’t might find this easy to use when it eventually rolls out to everyone. At the moment, the tool is in testing, with the company taking feedback from its users.

The tool itself would be nifty enough, but it’s part of a larger endgame that involves Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Twitter. All of these companies are part of the Data Transfer Project, an open-source project aimed at (as the name implies) making it so that “all individuals across the web could easily move their data between online service providers whenever they want.” So that means that Facebook‘s tool could potentially work with, say, Microsoft’s OneDrive or Apple’s iCloud.

Steve Satterfield, Facebook‘s Director of Privacy and Public Policy, says of potential privacy concerns: “We’ve kept privacy and security as top priorities, so all data transferred will be encrypted and people will be asked to enter their password before a transfer is initiated.” He also links to a Facebook white paper where the company ruminates on the conundrums in “data portability” — a paper that acknowledges photos are one of the easiest use cases: “It seems clear that people should be able to transfer data such as the photos they upload to a service.”

This tool isn’t being offered in a vacuum. Facebook‘s currently the subject of scrutiny from antitrust regulators worried about its anti-competition tendencies. Actually, that might be underselling it. The FTC launched an investigation into Facebook in July for just this reason, as did the Department of Justice in September. Satterfield obliquely refers to this — or at least this among Facebook multitude of other problems — when he says “We’ve learned from our conversations with policymakers, regulators, academics, advocates and others that real-world use cases and tools will help drive policy discussions forward.”

Most likely this effort from the Data Transfer Project is born in response to the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Article 20 of the GDPR states:

The data subject shall have the right to receive the personal data concerning him or her, which he or she has provided to a controller, in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format and have the right to transmit those data to another controller without hindrance from the controller to which the personal data have been provided… [and] the data subject shall have the right to have the personal data transmitted directly from one controller to another, where technically feasible.

Facebook is currently testing the Photo Transfer tool in Ireland. It plans to make it available worldwide in the first half of 2020.

Source:
https://thenextweb.com/facebook/2019/12/02/facebook-tool-google-photos/

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