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3 easy steps to establish two-factor authentication in Evernote

by Doug Drinkwater

October 11 2013

If you want to protect your notes and folders in Evernote, here’s how you can add an additional security layer with minimum fuss.

Following in the footsteps of Google, prominent note-taking solution Evernote has rolled out two-factor verification to all of its users, in a bid to clamp down on security and to reduce the chances of a repeat hack from last year.

The process itself is extensive but can be mastered in less than five minutes, whether you’re doing it on PC, tablet or smartphone. Here’s how to introduce two-step verification in three easy steps:

Enable two-factor authentication

To get things rolling, sign into your Evernote account, head to Account Settings and tap Security.

This will present a number of options, including the ability to go premium and to enable two-step verification. You should click on the tick box on the latter.

Verify your email address & mobile phone

Evernote will then seek to confirm that you are the account holder by verifying your email address and mobile phone number.  

To start with, you’ll be asked to confirm your email address. You’ll do this by clicking on a link in your input (you can alternatively enter the embedded code if the link doesn’t work). After that, Evernote will ask for your mobile phone number and will then send a six-digit code to your phone for you to relay in the Evernote security settings.

There’s also an optional field for adding a secondary mobile phone number should you lose your primary device. This is probably advisable as you won’t be able to log-in to Evernote should you misplace your main mobile phone, although you can skip this step if you want. Evernote does also give you four back-up codes so that you can still log-in if you don't have your phone to hand.

(See also: Evernote chief Phil Libin: 'The laptop will just be a tablet with a keyboard and Evernote launches Evernote Business.)

Seal the deal with Google Authenticator

The final port of call is a little different depending if you’re a free or premium Evernote user.

If you pay to use Evernote, the process is incredibly simple; a code is delivered to your mobile phone and you’ll be simply asked to use this, along with your account password, to sign in.  

That’s not to say it is difficult for non-paying subscribers. Instead, you’ll be asked to download the Google Authenticator app for iOS, Android or BlackBerry (there’s no app for Windows Phone owners, sadly). On doing so, and clicking your appropriate platform on the Evernote Security settings, you’ll be asked to scan a barcode on the app.

That’ll give you a code to input on Evernote to finalize the two-factor verification. This will see two-factor authentication be required on all Evernote apps and on all devices too.

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