Dropbox Adds an Offline Way to Do Two-Factor Authentication

This feature will be particularly useful as a backup when a user doesn’t have access to a cellular signal but does have access to Wi-Fi.

Dropbox said Aug. 10 that its mobile application now can function as a backup way for users to confirm their identity with two-factor authentication, especially if the user is out of cell range.

This takes place when user logs in to his or her Dropbox account. When signing in, a user can send a notification to the Dropbox app on his or her phone and then tap a button to finish the process, rather than receiving a text message with a code to enter. Reducing steps to legitimate authentication simplifies the process and saves time.

This feature will be particularly useful as a backup when a user doesn’t have access to a cellular signal but does have access to Wi-Fi. A common use case would be if the user is on an aircraft with Wi-Fi.

The San Francisco-based cloud storage and collaboration services provider said that this feature “builds on the existing security protocols, including the security checkup tool the team launched in June, to help keep users’ accounts secure as they work and collaborate in Dropbox.”

“If you’ve ever been locked out of your account, you know it can be a major frustration—especially when you have deadlines to meet, and people waiting on you to respond,” Dropbox’s Ethan Lowman wrote in a corporate blogpost. “The problem is, many users cannot reliably receive text messages or don’t keep track of emergency backup codes. And sometimes you don’t have your two-factor authentication code generator or U2F security key on hand."

Mobile prompts with two-step verification are now available on iOS and Android. For more information, go here. To learn how to enable two-step verification, check out this article on Dropbox’s help center.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he has...