Your usernames and password are the key to a ton of your personal information. If you are using the internet, you should be using strong passwords. Using passwords with 12 characters or more, a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters is important in protecting your information. Is using a strong password enough protection? No. If given enough time, any password can be hacked by a competent hacker. If you’re serious about online safety, use two-factor authentication for added protection. 

What Is Two-Factor Authentication?

Two-factor authentication (also known as 2FA or multi-factor authentication) is a method that requires users to provide two types of evidence to identify themselves. This evidence can be one of three things: Something only the user knows, something only the user has or something only the user is. You’ll add a second step to your login process. 

The first piece is almost always a password, which is something only the user knows. 

Secondly, you will often need to possess something. Most commonly, you will be required to enter a code that is sent to your mobile phone through text. This is possession of a passcode or proof of possession of an authorized mobile device. The second piece of evidence can also be a physical key, such as a fingerprint or facial recognition. 

You use two-factor authentication every time you go to the ATM. Your debit card is inserted (something you have) and you enter your PIN number (something you know) which grants you access to your account. 

Why Should I Use Two-Factor Authentication?

This second step in the login process make it exponentially more difficult for your account to be hacked. Single-factor authentication is a wallet with money in it. You drop the wallet, someone picks it up and the money is theirs. Two-factor authentication is a bank. In order to steal the money, you must first break into the bank. After that, you’ll need to break into the vault. This is the difference between single-factor and two-factor authentication. 

A criminal gaining access to your personal information can be devastation. Use two-factor authentication for added protection against identity theft. You’ll add a few extra seconds to your normal login time, but it is worth the extra effort.