Believe it or not, you’re most likely already using two factor authentication in your day-to-day life. Many (if not all) of us commonly use single factor authentication, such as using a password to log-on to a site. Two factor authentication (2FA) simply adds an extra step to your basic log-in procedure. In theory, 2FA makes your account more secure.
According to CNET, 2FA requires the user to have two out of three types of credentials before being able to access an account. The three types are:
- Something you know, such as a personal identification number (PIN), password, zipcode or a pattern
- Something you have, such as an ATM card, phone, or fob
- Something you are, such as a biometric like a fingerprint or voice print
For example, after you enter your password, you get a code sent to your phone, and only after you enter it will you be able to access your account. Starting to sound familiar? How about entering your zipcode (something you know) after swiping your credit card (something you have) at the gas pump?
2FA- Minor Inconvenience or Major Pain?
Just because it increases security, doesn’t mean people are thrilled about using it. Face it, 2FA can be a minor inconvenience or a major pain, depending on the user’s patience and willingness to spend the extra time to ensure a higher level of security.
Regardless, 2FA offers more protection than not using it. When you make yourself a difficult target, you’re disabling a certain subset of the hacker community. And that’s something all of us should strive for.
Where to Turn On Two Factor Authentication
Unfortunately, you can’t use two-factor authentication everywhere just yet, but a lot of sites have recently implemented it, including: