You can use existing libraries to tokenize.
From the docs on Github:
For sentence-level tasks (or sentence-pair) tasks, tokenization is
very simple. Just follow the example code in run_classifier.py and
extract_features.py. The basic procedure for sentence-level tasks is:
Instantiate an instance of
tokenizer = tokenization.FullTokenizer
Tokenize the raw text with
tokens = tokenizer.tokenize(raw_text).
Truncate to the maximum sequence length. (You can use up to 512, but
you probably want to use shorter if possible for memory and speed
[SEP] tokens in the right place.
In the original paper (Section 3) it is said that:
To make BERT handle a variety of down-stream tasks, our input
representation is able to unambiguously represent both a single
sentence and a pair of sentences in one token sequence. Throughout
this work, a “sentence” can be an arbitrary span of contiguous text,
rather than an actual linguistic sentence. A “sequence” refers to the
input token sequence to BERT, which may be a single sentence or two
sentences packed together.
Masked LM (Task 1) and Next Sentence Prediction (NSP, Task 2) are both part of pretraining in the original paper (Section 3.1). For "classification only"
you may be "okay" with Task 1 (MLM) depending on the problem. However, both MLM and NSP seem to be important to achieve "good" results. The motivation for NSP is described in the paper in the following words:
Many important downstream tasks such as Question Answering (QA) and
Natural Language Inference (NLI) are based on understanding the
relationship between two sentences, which is not directly captured by
language modeling. In order to train a model that understands sentence
relationships, we pre-train for a binarized next sentence prediction
task that can be trivially generated from any monolingual corpus
For more technical aspects (i.e. using the transformers library), you may see this discussion on SO.