Facebook Does Away With Phone Numbers in Its New Two-Factor Authentication Process

Apps and Software

A Facebook app on an iPhone. / Photo by: Freestocks-photos via Pixabay


Facebook no longer requires users to provide a phone number in its revised two-factor (2FA) authentication process. Such a change will make the 2FA process more streamlined without having to register a phone number, according to Dani Deahl, reporting for The Verge. 

In place of the phone number, the social network is relying on third-party apps such as Duo Security and Google Administrator to initiate the 2FA process. The revision was necessitated by a bug in Facebook’s previous 2FA process which caused users to receive non-security-related SMS notifications through their cellphones. The company had used the automated number 362-65 as its two-factor authentication number but the bug reportedly sent Facebook notifications via SMS without the users’ consent. Moreover, users’ replies to such messages were being posted on their Facebook accounts. 

But the above-mentioned authenticator apps are a safer option for Facebook, in the light of numerous 2FA hacking incidents, the latest involving Telegram accounts in Iran that were accessed by hackers. 

Two-factor authentication prevents users’ accounts from being accessed illegally by requiring a code in addition to a password for users to be able to log to their accounts. It provides confirmation for users’ identities, even in situations where the password may have been stolen by a hacker. Such authentication codes are usually sent through text messages but this method is vulnerable if hackers get hold of users’ SIM cards and transfer these to other phones. 

To activate 2FA process on their Facebook accounts, users need to visit Settings and click on Login and Security. They can then move over to the section that says “Use two-factor authentication.” Users can choose whether they want to use their phone numbers or an authentication app to provide an added layer of security.