Two-factor authentication (also called 2FA or two-step verification) is a great way to boost the security of any online account. Because it requires your phone in addition to your password, it’s much harder for malicious folk to break into your account.
We’ve pointed out several places you should enable 2FA, but one sphere you might not have considered is your gaming accounts. Whether you primarily play on PC, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One, here’s how to lock down those accounts. Note that Nintendo doesn’t offer any sort of 2FA, so make sure your Nintendo account password is rock-solid to protect your Wii U and 3DS.
If you’re a PlayStation gamer, visit the two-factor authentication homepage and click Activate Now. Confirm your credentials if needed, then click Edit next to the Status field. The site will walk you through the process of adding 2FA to your account. Currently, the only method is via a short code texted to your phone.
You’ll need this to sign in on a PS4 or the web, and with auto sign-in enabled you won’t have to enter it every time. On the PS3 and PS Vita, these 2FA codes won’t work, so you’ll need to click the Device Setup Password button to create a unique password for those devices.
Read Sony’s 2FA guide for further information.
On Xbox, your account is a Microsoft account, so you can head to your Microsoft account page to make the change. Click the Security tab, then more security options at the bottom of this page. Find the text for Turn on two-step verification and click that to get started.
Unlike Sony, Microsoft allows you to receive 2FA codes through email, text, or an authenticator app, which is the best solution as they work offline. We recommend Authy if you don’t already have a favorite authenticator app, as it syncs across all your devices so you don’t run into trouble if you lose your phone.
Choose Set up identity verification app to add one for your mobile OS of choice. Note that older devices, like the Xbox 360, won’t work with 2FA codes. You’ll need to click Create a new app password on this page to generate a sign-in code for those systems.
See Microsoft’s 2FA page for more.
Steam only allows 2FA through its mobile app. Download it for Android, iOS, or Windows Phone and sign in with your account. Next, tap the left slide-out menu and choose Steam Guard. The app will walk you through adding a phone number to verify your account with a text message.
Once that’s done, tapping the Steam Guard menu entry will provide a code that you can use to log into your account.
Visit the Steam Guard support page for more info.
If you’re sick of Steam, GOG (Good Old Games) is probably your next best bet. It’s a good idea to enable 2FA for your GOG account if you use it for buying games regularly.
At the moment, GOG only provides 2FA through an email code. This is less secure than a text message or authentication app since someone could potentially break into your email, so we advise turning on 2FA for your email account as well. Head to your account security settings, sign in if needed, and click Enable next to Two-step login to set it up.
See GOG’s two-step login page for more.
Log into your Origin account, then visit the Security portion of your settings. Click the Turn On button under Login Verification, answer your security question, then choose whether you’d like to get codes via an app, text message, or email.
Origin has more on login verification if you have questions.
Those who play Ubisoft games on PC, such as Watch Dogs 2 or Rainbow Six Siege, must do so using uPlay. It’s a pain to juggle all these services for different games, but you won’t regret making them more secure.
You can add two-factor authentication for uPlay by visiting your account security page when logged in. Look for the 2-Step Verification box and click the Activate Two-Step Verification button. Ubisoft recommends you use Google Authenticator, but other apps should work fine.
Browse Ubisoft’s article on 2FA if you’d like.
How Do You Game Securely?
It only takes a few minutes to add Authy to your phone and start generating 2FA codes for every service that supports them. It’s comforting to know that nobody can get into your accounts unless they have the phone in your pocket, so why wouldn’t you want the extra security?
While you’re setting them up, note that each of these services provides one or more recovery codes. These are extremely important, so you should write them down or print them out and keep them somewhere safe. If you lose your phone, those codes allow you to get back into your account without a big hassle.
Want more on gaming security? Check out the worst security threats for gamers and whether game developers need to focus more on online security.
Which services do you have 2FA activated on? Let us know if you’ll protect your gaming accounts with this method!
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