Coinbase is a premier crypto exchange that ensures your crypto assets are safe and secure at all times. Even so, hackers have cracked security and have snatched Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other digital currencies.
By turning on two-factor authentication within Coinbase settings, you can effectively make it harder for attackers to compromise your account.
Two-factor authentication: What Is It?
This method of securing your account is known as two-factor authentication (2FA), or two-step verification (2SV). Your identity will be verified after you enter your password (first step).
Despite their similarities and interchangeability, 2-factor authentication and 2-step verification differ in a number of ways.
Getting 2-Step Verification Set Up on Coinbase
For Coinbase 2-step verification, you’ll need the following:
- An account with Coinbase.
- Connected smartphone.
- Authenticator app compatible with Coinbase.
- Device to provide physical security.
Next, we’ll examine how two-step verification works in Coinbase.
There are 3 methods to verify your Coinbase account using 2-Step Verification
Coinbase delivers 2-step verification codes in three different ways:
- 2-step verification via SMS.
- 2-step verification via an authenticator app (like Authy or Google Authenticator).
- 2-step verification via security key (like a Yubikey).
By requiring a 2-step verification code before approving any transaction, you can also secure your transactions.
Now let’s take a look at Coinbase’s 3-step verification process.
1. 2- Step Verification via SMS
Two-step verification is such a serious matter at Coinbase that you’re required to set it up immediately upon signing up for an account.
Your mobile phone number must be entered and a code must be sent. The code is seven digits long. Click on Submit after entering the code.
During the transfer process, Coinbase will ask if you want to send crypto. For now, click Skip. You’re done. With 2-step verification set up in Coinbase, you’re good to go.
To verify your identity, you’ll receive an SMS code the next time you sign in. Currently, 2-step verification with SMS from Coinbase is moderately secure.
2. 2-Step Verification via an Authenticator App
Coinbase lets you generate or receive 2SV codes via an authenticator app to further secure your account. Set up 2-step authentication via an authenticator app by following these steps.
- To change your settings, click on your profile picture and then Settings in your Coinbase account.
- You can edit your Coinbase profile through the Settings page. Choose Security from the options.
- Select 2-step verification under Security. Authenticator can be selected from the Other Options. In an authenticator app, Coinbase describes 2SV as a secure method.
- You will need to input the 7-digit code you will receive on your phone.
- You will see a QR code in the Enable Authenticator Support dialog box. Scanning the QR code is easy with the authenticator app. Bitcoin-based exchange Coinbase currently supports Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, and Duo Mobile. Let’s demonstrate using Google Authenticator. Install the Google Authenticator app for mobile devices (free).
- Click on the plus sign in the authenticator app on your phone. From there, select QR Code Scan.
- You can now scan the QR code on your desktop with the camera of your phone. Your desktop will show a space where you can enter the generated code. Click Enable to enable it.
- Upon enabling 2-step verification with an authenticator app, you’ll receive a success message. Both email and SMS notifications will be sent to that effect.
3. 2-Step Verification via Security Key
Coinbase recommends upgrading to a security key for the strongest 2-step verification security, which it describes as being very secure.
Due to their physical nature and ability to work offline, security keys are more secure than other forms of 2-step verification. As your preferred method of 2-step verification, here’s how to set up a security key.
- Click on your profile picture after logging into your Coinbase account. Choose Settings from the drop-down menu.
- Select Security from the list. The 2-step verification section should appear. Choose Security key on the Other Options screen.
- During login, you will be asked if you have your hardware security key handy. Select OK.
- Adding a security key won’t sign you in to the Coinbase mobile app since it doesn’t yet support security keys. Furthermore, security keys are not yet supported by browsers such as Safari. Furthermore, you will not be able to sign in to certain third-party apps with two-step verification after signing in.
- I accept these terms, click here. Once you’ve entered your 2-step verification code, click Confirm to ensure it’s you attempting to add a security key.
- Click on Begin registration after inserting your security key into your computer’s USB drive.
- Once you begin registration, your browser will prompt you to select your hardware type and activate your security key to complete registration.
You can block, cancel, or time out your security key registration. Be sure to use a browser-certified security key and to follow through quickly after. Registrations can be resubmitted if canceled.
Your security key replaces any previous 2-step verification method as soon as you register it.
Don’t let your Coinbase account get hacked
You can implement 2-step verification on your Coinbase account using an authenticator app, SMS, or security key, depending on the method you choose.
If you use a security key, you must still protect your 2SV method, as you would with a password. Using, for instance, one of the side-channel vulnerabilities in the NXP A700X chip, NinjaLab researchers were able to exploit a Google Titan 2FA security key. However, this is an extremely complex and time-consuming process.
If you use two-factor authentication, you must protect your primary devices, such as a security key or a phone, from unauthorized access, and ensure that your passwords are unique and strong.