Dropbox introduces 2-step verification for added security, available through ‘experimental build’

August 28, 2012
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Cloud storage is one of the technologies that make mobile computing possible in the workplace. With bring-your-own-device (BYOD) setups becoming popular, workers need a way to access documents and data on-the-go. For consumers, cloud storage offers a way to sync files and offer mobile access.

Dropbox is one such means, as it allows users to sync files in between computers and devices. For mobile devices, Dropbox offers cloud-based access so you can bring your files anywhere with an Internet connection.

Of course, the issue with BYOD is security. Lose your smartphone or tablet, and whoever picks it up can potentially view your files and documents. Sensitive information may fall into the wrong hands. Even if your device is not lost, hackers can potentially break into your accounts and gain access.

This is why Google has recommended the use of two-step verification to ensure you’re actually the one accessing your account. This requires (1) something you know, like a password, and (2) something you have, like a smartphone. It’s only smart that you protect important online assets this way, and other companies are following suit.

Dropbox has announced limited support for two-step verification. With an “experimental build” Dropbox developer Jie T. says the company is letting users test the two-factor authentication feature, which should require an additional code prior to gaining access.

Two-step verification adds an extra layer of protection to your account by requiring an additional security code that is sent to your phone by text message or generated using a mobile authenticator app.

Users will not have two-factor authentication on the stable Dropbox application build, though. One will have to download the “forum build” version 1.5.12 and activate two-step verification through a link. The feature may soon be available on the mainstream release, although Dropbox is still mum as to when this will be.

With BYOD increasingly gaining acceptance in the workplace, and with Dropbox being one of the more popular ways for consumers to sync files to the cloud, two-factor verification is one way to increase security. If you’re a Dropbox user, and if you have easy access to a mobile device for SMS or authenticator verification (who doesn’t?), you might want to try this one out.

If you don’t have Dropbox, you might want to try it out. The service offers cross-platform access to your files, which can be synced across devices. Mobile versions offer cloud-based access to files, which are downloaded to the device on an as-needed basis. Dropbox is available for iOS, Android and Blackberry devices.

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