The Scoop on 2FA

If you’ve been hearing about 2FA or Two-Factor Authentication more frequently, it’s because of the growing need for tighter online security. Hackers and identity thieves are gaining more victims as more people do their business online and more devices are connected to the internet. 2FA is one very good and relatively easy way to make your login information more secure.

So what is 2FA and why is it more secure? 

According to PCMag’s lead security analyst Neil J. Rubenking, there are three generally recognized factors for authentication: 

  1. Something you know (such as a password)
  2. Something you have (such as a hardware token or cell phone)
  3. Something you are (such as your fingerprint)

Two-factor simply means that the system is using two of these options for authentication. You’re actually already utilizing this method whenever you use your credit card: you provide the credit card number (something you have) and your zip code (something you know).

While we’re not quite at the futuristic movie stage where retinal scans are an ordinary daily occurrence, cell phones now offer fingerprint and facial recognition options for their locking mechanisms. 

The current most common second factor for authentication is a simple numeric code: a few digits sent to your phone which can only be used once. These numbers are typically sent via text or an authenticator app such as Authy and Duo

The only additional step you’ll experience when logging is entering the numbers sent to you. And since most applications and devices already offer two-factor authentication, it’s only a matter of choosing this option under your settings. You’ll be prompted to enter the authentication code every time moving forward. Pretty soon it will just be second nature to you and you’ll have that extra layer of security.

If you’d like to learn more about securing your login credentials and setting up 2FA, check out our article on password protection! Our technicians at Technology Solutions can assist you in online security. Schedule an appointment today to learn how!