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Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 10:47 pm PT (01:47 am ET)

Twitter unveils two-factor authentication, updates Mac app with Notification Center support

Near ubiquitous microblogging service Twitter on Wednesday released an updated Mac app with built-in Notification Center integration and, more importantly, a system-wide two-factor authentication solution for heightened account security.

Twitter


Coming on the heels of recent high-profile breaches, Twitter has stepped up security with what it calls "login verification," a form of two-factor authentication that, when activated, requires users enter a special PIN along with their normal password to login.

Users can find the option on Twitter's Web client under "Account security" in the Settings menu. After ticking the box next to "Require a verification code when I sign in" and attaching a phone number to their account, users will be sent a six-digit code via SMS each time they sign in to Twitter.com.

Much like Google's two-step security implementation, third-party apps tied to an account will continue to work without any special settings adjustments. However, once logged out of an app, a user must visit the Applications page on Twitter.com to retrieve a temporary password that will reauthorize said app.

With its new security feature, Twitter is attempting to add another layer of protection against nefarious hackers who have recently gained access to a number of prominent accounts. In one case, the Associated Press' account was cracked, with a message posted saying the White House had been bombed. U.S. stock markets saw an instant downturn because of the erroneous tweet before ultimately stabilizing.



Also launched on Wednesday was Twitter's first-party OS X app, which brings integration with the desktop version of Notification Center.

From the release notes:
Notification Center integration: receive notifications when someone mentions you or when you receive a Direct Message. You can configure this from the app's Preferences window.

This update also includes the following changes:
  • Fix for Growl notifications not working in Lion and Mountain Lion
  • Fix for bug that prevented un-favoriting tweets
  • Fix for missing account switcher in composer
  • Fix for error message when posting a tweet with a pasted image
  • Fix for enlarged avatar when dragging a tweet into an email
  • Fixes for crashes and various other bugs

Twitter for Mac comes in at 4.8MB and is free to download from the Mac App Store.