How Do I Set Up 2-Factor Authentication?

Two-factor authentication is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your accounts. A reader wants some guidance on how to set it up:

“How do I set up two-factor identification? My o/s is 10/64.”

The process for setting up 2-factor authentication is different for each account you wish to secure. There’s no one place you can go to set it up for your Microsoft account, Google account, and bank account all in one place.

Since you say you’re using a Windows 10 PC, I can show you how to secure your Microsoft account.

Here’s how to set it up:

Head to the Microsoft security page by clicking here.


Select Update Info.


Make sure your alternate email address and phone number are correct. Remove any out-of-date information. If you don’t have a phone number click on add security infor:


You can choose to a use a phone number and pick whether you’d like to receive a text or a phone call.


Or choose an alternate email address that’s not affiliated with your Microsoft account and hit Next. It’s important to keep this information up-to-date. If you switch phone numbers or email providers, make sure to update this information.


When you’ve finished Scroll down and choose more security options.


Then select Set up two-step verification.


You’ll see a brief explanation of the process. Click Next.


You’ll be given the option to get the Microsoft authenticator app for your phone. We’re not going to tackle that option today. Instead, just click cancel.authenticator-app.jpg

If you receive your email on a smartphone, you’ll want to select the type.


You’ll be given instructions and a code to set up email on your phone.


The next time you log into a Microsoft account, you’ll receive a code via phone or email that you’ll use to log in.


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