Almost all major email and social media services are frequently under attack from hackers, and while these big organizations often ward off such attacks with ease, some responsibility rests with the users to make things as difficult for the black hats as possible. For this reason, Microsoft, Google, Apple, Yahoo!, Twitter and a lot of other services support two-step authentication. Generally, two-factor verification requires users to perform some sort of verification from their mobile phone such as entering a code or scanning a QR code, in addition to providing the login details on their computer before they can successfully sign in. Rublon offers similar QR code-based authentication, but is different because it isn’t limited to just one service. In fact, any website or service can integrate Rublon and make use of its authentication. Users just have to install the Rublon app on their Windows Phone, and scan the QR code generated by the service every time they want to sign in from an unfamiliar device.
The Rublon app itself doesn’t have too many features or bells and whistles. To create an account, simply enter your email address, and let the service take charge from there. You will receive an email at the address you entered in Rublon, and will be required to verify your registration using the link provided in this email. Once a user has been registered, Rublon goes into scanning mode, waiting for services to generate QR codes for it.
For now, not a lot of websites support Rublon, and chances are you have never heard of the ones that do (unless there are many frostbox, domeny.tv, datebytype or firmino.pl users hiding somewhere out there). That said, according to the developers, it is pretty easy to integrate the service’s authentication module with any login form, so you might be seeing more of Rublon in the near future. A complete list of supported services is sent to users who sign up for a new Rublon account. To set up two-factor authentication for a particular service, go to its account settings and look for the Rublon icon there. If it is there, click it and then wait for it to generate a new QR code. Once you scan it with your WP8, the authentication is completed. This way, no one will be able to access your account unless they are using a trusted device with the app installed and logged in with your account. The list of trusted devices can be viewed and managed from within the app. You don’t have to scan the QR code every time you are trying to sign in, as Rublon automatically distinguishes between trusted and non-trusted devices whenever a sign in request is sent.
Rublon is an app that has a great concept, but lacks the support of many services at present. Still, it can’t hurt to give it a go, or request the administrators of your favorite websites to add Rublon integration to the mix. The app has been available on Android and iOS for a long time, but has just arrived on Windows Phone. You can use it for free on any device running Mango or above.