As a traveler who uses Airbnb, you may have some initial reservations about staying in someone’s home, but eventually those feelings subside. As an Airbnb host, it’s no surprise you may take security much more seriously. After all, you are opening a room – or maybe even your whole home – to strangers who are paying for a service. Now you can rest easy, as the company has begun to implement multi-factor authentication, along with other security measures, to keep both homeowners and guests safe.
Why A Sudden Increase in Security?
Like many people who travel for work or pleasure, I have used Airbnb on many occasions. Luckily, I’ve never really had any issues with my hosts or heard too many horror stories from those who I’ve stayed with. That’s not to say these events haven’t happened.
One host, who goes by the name “EJ,” wrote in a blog post about what happened to her apartment, and her belongings, during an unfortunate stay by a guest. “They found my coupons for Bed Bath & Beyond and used the discount, along with my Mastercard, to shop online. Despite the heat wave, they used my fireplace and multiple Duraflame logs to reduce mounds of stuff (my stuff??) to ash – including, I believe, the missing set of guest sheets I left carefully folded for their comfort. Yet they were stupid and careless enough to leave the flue closed; dirty gray ash now covered every surface inside,” wrote EJ, detailing only some of the damage done by the guests.
More of these accounts from hosts and guests can be found at airbnbhell.com.
Airbnb is also implementing multi-factor authentication to avoid any security breaches, phishing, or malware that may be downloaded to your computer to steal your personal information. “If your computer is compromised by malicious software, it can capture your keystrokes and record your usernames and passwords. Once a bad actor has collected your password this way, they can maliciously access your account,” the company said in its announcement.
What to Expect with Multi-Factor Authentication
Before you start worrying about all of the extra steps these new security measures will entail, it’s really not going to make your experience – either as a host or guests – much different. The multi-factor authentication will call for every user to confirm their profile by linking it to their phone or email if they wish to use the service on a device different from the one they used to create their account. The process will be much like the way Apple uses two-factor authentication on its devices, so it is fairly easy and quick.
As horrific events have taken place within the Airbnb family, the company has always been vocal about supporting its hosts. Per the company’s ‘Peace of Mind’ guarantee, “We’re committed to creating a safe and trusted community around the world. Though property damage is rare, we understand you may need protection. The Host Guarantee will reimburse eligible hosts for damages up to $1,000,000.” While this does show the company’s willingness to stand by its hosts and protect their belongings, it’s been made obvious that something more must be done. By adding these new security measures, Airbnb hopes to create an even greater sense of security, trust, and better experiences for all parties involved.