By Jonathan Charles | Aug 27, 2012 12:15 PM EDT
Dropbox is rolling out two-step verification, which is seemingly compulsory for users of the file-sharing service. Dropbox recently experienced security breaches, so the feature's implementation appears to be a reaction to those events.
For now, the service redirects users to a custom URL to sign in and use the new feature. When users sign in, the link opens the Security Configuration page, and users can run a wizard explaining how to enable and use the two-step verification feature. When using the feature, codes can be sent via SMS to a mobile phone or, like the Authenticator app Blizzard uses for its Battle.net service, users can download an app that generates a code. The app is available for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices.
Users installing Dropbox on a new computer and linking an account will be asked for a code, as will users trying to log into the account, so in theory, users' data should not be stolen easily.
Currently the feature is opt-out (there is no push to use the aforementioned link), though it will be interesting to see whether Dropbox maintains the policy. Blizzard's Authenticator is optional, despite the multitude of issues plaguing Diablo 3.
Google encouraged users to enable a similar two-step verification process for Gmail. PayPal also uses a similar feature. While potentially inconvenient for users, these processes offer added protection against hacked accounts, which are a very real concern. Diablo 3 players experience stolen accounts and in-game gold (which is sold for real money).
Dropbox is free to use, though the company offers various pricing tiers, which are not the cheapest compared to competitors. The apps are free to download.
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