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Nest Is Turning Up the Security on Its Thermostats

March 7, 2017, 3:28 PM UTC

Two-factor authentication is slowly but surely becoming a default cybersecurity practice. The latest brand to add support for the feature is connected thermostat maker Nest.

Rolling out through a software update today, owners will need to update their apps, tap on the menu icon, and then proceed Account Security, where they can activate two-factor authentication.

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To re-login with two-factor authentication enabled, a user enters his or her email and password as normal, but then he or she will receive a text with a verification code. The owner enters the code on the corresponding screen, and it’s back to normal accessing the account to control these home appliances.

All Nest products are designed to be connected via Wi-Fi. Corresponding updates are sent directly to Nest Thermostats, Nest Protect smoke alarms, and Nest Cam security cameras. But because these devices are all Internet-connected, that makes them potentially susceptible to hackers. Two-factor authentication is a relatively simple but robust safeguard for protecting user data and access.

Read More: How to Use 2-Factor Authentication to Protect Yourself From Hackers or Stalkers

Numerous platforms offer two-factor authentication (sometimes shortened to “2FA”) from social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn to payment apps like PayPal and Venmo. Apple recently prompted customers using a test version of its mobile operating system iOS enable two-factor authentication.

“We all know data security is a moving target,” wrote Matt Rogers, vice president of engineering at Nest Labs, in a blog post on Tuesday. “Technology keeps advancing, but so do the people who want to break into your email, your credit card or any other account they can get their hands on.”

Google (GOOGL) announced its plans to buy Nest in January 2014 for $3.2 billion. Following the reorganization under parent company Alphabet, Nest Labs underwent restructuring last summer. The entire platform team was folded into Google in order to create a unified Internet of things platform.

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