2-factor authentication and twitter

I’ve had two factor for gmail enabled for two years.  This morning, I set up two factor for github and some others due to Heartbleed (check if sites you use are affected), Then there was Twitter.  After the other sites being straightforward, I expected the same from Twitter.  Twitter did not deliver.  I had to turn off two factor.  I’m left with secure my password and hope I notice if someone logs into my account.  (I think my friends would tell me about bad direct messages)

How to enable on a mobile device

  1. Install the official twitter app on my iPad
  2. Follow the menus described here
  3. Write down the backup code
  4. I logged off in a browser and re-logged in.
  5. Then I went to the twitter app and approved my login under settings.

And if it ended here, all would be fine.

Adding a phone number

I thought about adding a phone number as another option.  Don’t bother.  They are mutually exclusive.

Apparently they are mutually exclusive.  I cancelled the phone number sign up process part way through due to usability issues.  (Twitter wants you to text GO to 40404.  I don’t know how to do that on my BlackBerry.  I know how to reply to texts and text real numbers.  And I don’t want to lookup how to do it since I likely never will again.)

Anyway, when I clicked cancel on the process, it had already turned off my iPad option so I had to set it up again.  Grumble.

The BlackBerry app

Once I had two factor turned on, I was no longer able to logon to Twitter using the BlackBerry app.  A quick search online says I’m not the only one with this problem and the BlackBerry app just plain doesn’t support it.  Which means I can’t use two factor for Twitter.

enabling more two factor – paypal, dropbox, linked in and yahoo

I’ve had two factor for gmail enabled for two years.  This morning, I set up two factor for github.  Due to Heartbleed (check if sites you use are affected), I checked who else permits two factor to revisit what I should turn on.  Twitter has it’s own post because it didn’t go smoothly like the others did.

I had originally decided not to turn on two factor for sites that don’t provide an app as I prefer not to get texts.  However, I notice they only text you when you log in from a new device.  And I get enough junk texts by now that this is a rounding error.


I have a paypal account but hardly use it.  It was so secure that I didn’t even know my main password.

  1. Go to this page.
  2. Choose the option to use a mobile number (vs a $30 device)
  3. Enter your phone number
  4. Enter the code sent via a text to prove you control that phone number.  Do so quickly.  The code expires in 5 minutes.


Dropbox was similar to github.  It uses Google Authenticator plus a backup phone code and backup text string.  The only annoyance was that I had trouble scanning the QR code.  I had to drag the browser to my second screen (which is larger so has better resolution.)

Dropbox didn’t make me re-connect my existing sessions.  I left them alone because I don’t want to sync all that data again.  Presumably two factor will protect me against anyone else using my login.

Linked in

  1. Go to the security page,
  2. Click Turn on for two factor
  3. Enter your phone number
  4. Enter the code sent via a text to prove you control that phone number

Yahoo mail

I hadn’t secured yahoo because I use it as my “backup” email provider.  Why not though.

  1. Go to this page.
  2. Enter your phone numbe
  3. Enter the “six digit” code sent via a text to prove you control that phone number.  (My “six digit” code was five digits.  I guess they are counting invisible leading zeros)

firefox – I know I saw that web page!

I can’t find that page!  I know I saw it yesterday evening, but where did it go?

This was the question I posed to Scott earlier today.  After telling him what I wanted to blog about, I said that I just needed to find the web page that had the information.

Firefox history

I was aware that I could use the “search bookmarks and history” feature to look at all the webpages I had been to recently.  I tried narrowing it down to Oracle.com pages but could not find the page that I had seen last night.

Scott told me that I could view my browser history by time.  Perfect!  I know I saw it last night and I didn’t go to that many pages then.

I just went to History > Show all history.  It lets you filter by today, yesterday, the last 6 months and older than 6 months.  I chose “yesterday”, sorted by time and found the page.  It was a java.sun.com page which explains why Oracle.com pages didn’t find it!

When it doesn’t work

This “feature” is a bit creepy.  What if you don’t want your history around for so long.

  • When in “private browsing” mode, your history is not stored
  • If you’ve cleared your browser’s history, it is not in the list
  • If you’ve gone into the history and right clicked “delete”, that item is not in the list
  • If you’ve gone into the history and right clicked “forget about this site”, no items from that domain are in the list.

If you are like me and nobody else has access to your computer, this is an awesome feature though!  I certainly wouldn’t have remembered where I saw that information.

As to what that topic I actually wanted to blog about was – you’ll have to check back tomorrow.  Hint – it’s about Java certifications.