After admitting that the feature was “embarrassingly late,” Elon Musk is finally delivering on his promise. Starting today, Tesla users can now protect their accounts with an extra layer of security using the two-factor authentication (2FA).
2FA requires users to provide a secondary form of verification on top of the usual account credentials before signing in. This secondary verification can be either a passcode that you receive through a third-party authenticator app or an OTP through SMS. The former is more secure, and it looks like that is the route that Tesla has decided to take.
The setup process for activating 2FA on Tesla accounts requires a user’s account credentials, a mobile device and a third-party authenticator app. Now, downloading a separate app for authentication can be more bothersome than simply receiving an SMS, which is why many companies opt for the latter. However, Tesla wants to choose security over convenience, which isn’t a bad idea considering how valuable the company’s automobiles are.
According to the Tesla support page, users must register at least one mobile device to enable the 2FA. The new security process works across both Tesla’s website and application.
The company has been promising this feature for very long. In fact, the first mention of it dates back to 2019. On various multiple occasions, Elon Musk said that the company is working on it and will implement it soon. However, it just kept getting delayed, which led to Elon musk admitting the delay in August by saying:
Sorry, this is embarrassingly late. Two factor authentication via sms or authenticator app is going through final validation right now.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 14, 2020
Given the wide network of connectivity that a Tesla account carries, especially with the company’s cars, it was becoming extremely important that the accounts were protected by the best security measures on the market. Few people had even managed to exploit the security weaknesses in these vehicles, which can be connected to unprotected WiFi networks. A general Tesla account holds the power to unlock a car, flash the lights of the car, switch on the HVAC system, locate the car and many more. The two-factor authentication will ensure that the power of doing these things is only available to the owner of the Tesla cars.