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What is 2FA? The Importance of Two Factor Authentication

Are you concerned about your cybersecurity?

As technology continues to advance, so do cyber threats. Every year, we face at least 30 million cyber-attacks. Many companies carry a thousand sensitive files and leave them unprotected.

Cyber attacks are a growing concern for all internet users. Whether you’re running a business or a regular browser, you need to protect your data. There are many ways you can protect your data.

One of the known methods is 2FA, but what is 2FA? In this article, we give you a quick guide for understanding 2FA. Read on to find out more and secure your online data today! 

What is 2FA

So, what is 2FA? 2FA, otherwise known as two-factor identification, is an added layer of security (i.e. a 2nd lock). It is an extra step, often seen in the log-in process.

It helps by verifying your identity for a 2nd time to prevent hackers from getting your data. This can be in the form of a fingerprint scan or a code sent to your phone. Cybercriminals and thieves can’t access this information, even with your username and password.

2FA is one of the subsets of multi-factor authentication. These are methods for confirming your identity before you can access your account. Two-factor authentication, from the name itself, requires only two factors.

Other multi-factor authentications can ask for more. Most websites use one-factor authentication, asking only for your email address and password. In two-factor authentication, the site will usually send a numerical code with six-digits.

You may only then access this site after entering this code. Even if you know the right password, you will not be able to log in without the code. 

Importance of Two-Factor Authentication

Today, there are many advanced hackers. Many passwords are weak, even with extra measures and requirements. Studies show that Gen Z uses the same password across all their accounts.

Many people still use the generic QWERTY and 123456 passwords. As more people continue to use weak passwords, it becomes easier for hackers to guess them. That’s why two-factor authentication is a necessary step for cyber security.

While it may seem like a hassle, you could leave yourself open to hackers without 2FA. Many websites hold your bank account information, online credit card, and personal information. 2FA prevents hackers from accessing this information.

A cyberthief will not be able to access your account when they need a verification code from your phone. If you want to keep your information secure, you need 2FA.

If you’re asking yourself, do I need two-factor authentication? The answer is yes.

Types of 2FA

Two-factor authentication contains several categories. With the forms listed above, an app or website may ask for these types of 2FA.

Hardware Tokens

This type requires a user to have some type of token on hand. It can be a USB token that you insert into a device before you can log in. Some tokens come with a digital code that a user must enter before logging in.

Voice and SMS 2FA

An app, device or site will send you a text or voice message. In this message, they will give you a code that you can use to enter an account.

Software Tokens

You may find some apps that serve as token for 2FA. Any site that supports this app will send the code to the app. You must access this verification code from the app before you can log in.

Push Notifications

Some websites and apps like Facebook use this form of 2FA. You need to download the push notification app before you can get a code. 
After entering your login credentials, your mobile phone will receive a push notification. It contains a message, asking you to approve your log-in attempt.

Biometrics

Biometric 2FA is one of the more advanced versions of 2FA. Sites and websites that use this form of 2FA ask for a physical trait that you have. Fingerprint scanners are the most common form of biometric 2FA.

Location

A site may send an alert if you log in from a different location than where it usually registers your account. You may also receive this alert if you log in from a new device.

How to Enable 2FA

Not all sites use two-factor authentication. However, many sites allow you to activate 2FA for your account. You can find this in your account settings, usually under your Security tab. 
Some websites that use 2FA include:

  • Instagram
  • Dropbox
  • Amazon
  • Linkedin
  • Intuit
  • Paypal
  • Yahoo
  • Mint
  • Turbotax

Ensure to enable two-factor in high-priority accounts. If your account contains sensitive information and your bank account, enable 2FA.

How Secure is 2FA

Even with 2FA, nothing can be a hundred percent sure. Advanced technology allows cybercriminals to bypass the system. Even with 2FA enabled, some cyberthieves can access your account.

They can do this if an account recovery resets your login credentials through email. Still, enabling two-factor authentication is the better option. It gives you a better chance at preventing criminals from hacking into your accounts.

Cyber threats are growing as we continue to develop into the modern age. If you want to protect your information, you need to take extra precautionary steps.

Take Advantage of 2FA Today!

What is 2FA? It is a security measure that you can use to protect your data. Don’t hesitate to activate it now and keep your accounts and sensitive data safe from hackers.

However, in some cases, two-factor authentication may not be enough.

Want to know more about protecting your data? Contact us today to upgrade your account security! 

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