How to set up 2FA on eBay – go do it now!

A little under two years ago, I looked into how one might go about securing an eBay account using two-factor authentication (2FA).

At the time, it wasn’t clear if 2FA was supported on eBay officially or not, and I found a number of dead-end paths when trying to actually set up my account with 2FA – old documentation pages about 2FA appeared to be buried or completely deprecated, many links were completely dead. Calls to customer service didn’t help much, as the reps I spoke to had no idea what I was talking about or why I was asking.

There were legacy documentation pages about using a third-party time-based token authentication service, but these were mostly dead-ends as well and I had, to put it mildly, an extraordinarily difficult time trying to set things up.

By the end of it all, I had tried (and tried!) to set up 2FA on my account, but really to no avail. I concluded my piece with a plea for readers to let me know if I’d missed something obvious in trying to secure my account, or at the very least to ask eBay nicely to make this process easier.

Over time, many of our Naked Security readers chimed in on my story saying that either they’d had similar processes, or they’d discovered a workaround entirely.

As more time passed, the comments started to change tone entirely, that actually the 2FA process was super simple and easy to do now. Based on what readers like you had commented, it sounded like something had changed for the better. Clearly, it was past time for me to revisit this story.

I’m quite relieved and thankful to report that since I first wrote this the eBay 2FA story, eBay has not only binned its previous byzantine 2FA procedure, but it’s replaced it with something that’s both easy to find and easy to use.

Now, happily, this is how you can easily set up 2FA on your eBay account.

  • Log in to your account.
  • Go to your account settings by clicking on your name in the upper left (where it says “Hi [your name]!”) and clicking Account settings in the dropdown.
  • In the My Account menu on the left that now appears, click Personal information.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the Personal Information screen, and you’ll now see a field that says Security Information, with the 2 step verification option underneath it. If it is switched to “off”, click the Edit option on the right.
  • Follow the instructions on the screen. eBay 2FA supports voice and SMS factors (no support for time-based token authentication, like Google Authenticator or Duo, as far as I can tell).
  • You’ll get a confirmation once it’s set up. Easy peasy!

I’m relieved that eBay has now made this much easier for users, and hope if you’re an eBay user you’ll take a quick moment to get this set up on your account.