Couldn’t the company, like, maybe have done this a tad bit sooner?
Ring, the Amazon-owned manufacturer of home surveillance cameras, announced that it’s implementing a long-overdue step meant to keep its customers’ accounts safe from hackers. Starting today, two-factor authentication will be mandatory for all Ring users.
The company has been in the news recently for all kinds of unfortunate reasons. From shady data-sharing practices to an overly cozy relationship with police and simply being altogether too easy to hack, Ring hasn’t had a great past 12 months.
During that time, the Ring brand has taken one hit after another. Today’s effort to lock down customers’ accounts appears to be a belated response to at least some of the problems that are part and parcel of owning and using the device.
For those not in the know, 2FA is an added layer of security for online accounts. Once enabled, users or customers need more than just passwords to access their accounts. A second factor, like a 6-digit code generated by an authenticator app, is also needed. Two-factor authentication is a good thing, and you should at a bare minimum have it enabled on the email account that receives all your password reset requests (you know the one).
“With every login on your Ring account, you’ll receive a one-time, six-digit code to verify your login attempt,” reads the Ring blog post. “You’ll need to enter that code before we will allow access to your Ring account. The same goes for any Shared Users that you have on your account.”
Ring also announced that “beginning this week,” it will allow customers to opt-out of “sharing [their] information with third-party service providers for the purpose of receiving personalized ads.”
Emphasis on opt-out. Meaning, of course, that unless Ring customers are made aware of the fact that the company shares their data with third parties, and then figures out how to disable said sharing, the sharing will continue.
It’s worth emphasizing that the 2FA change by Ring is an unabashedly good thing. So credit where credit is due. Although, what took the company so long to implement this change is another question — one that, it’s worth mentioning, we asked Ring. We received no immediate response.
“Better late than never” isn’t exactly a shining endorsement.