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What is two-factor authentication?

Secure your accounts today!

We use passwords daily. In fact, we probably use passwords several times a day whether we want to log into our social media accounts or check our bank statements. 

Since we use passwords to access almost everything in our lives, we also need to remember all the various passwords that we have in our head. We can’t use one password for all our accounts; that’s too dangerous and will put us in a significant risk situation. Even with all the various complicated passwords that we set up for all our different accounts, the risk of hackers hijacking our accounts are still great. 

To make our lives a bit easier, we have two-factor authentication that adds a second method of identity verification to secure your accounts.

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Brief Summary

Glossary

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a security measure that requires two forms of identification to access an account or device. This could for example be a code that is sent to your phone by text or an app. It adds an extra layer of protection to prevent unauthorized access.

The history of passwords

At first, we used to use one password for everything. Additionally, the passwords were straightforward. They would be something like emma89.

Passwords that are this simple come with considerable risk. Furthermore, using such a simple password for all our various accounts, even our sensitive accounts, was very dangerous. Hackers could hack our bank account without any effort, so people understood that complicated passwords were needed. Passwords such as hkgorunap1294!0+4

Furthermore, it was decided to not only complicate passwords but also use different passwords for different accounts, making it incredibly hard for a hacker to get hold of sensitive information. 

People also started using password managers. A password manager is a tool that enables you to save all your various passwords inside the tool to then only remember one password; the password for the password manager. 

Despite all these security measures to ensure that we prevent hackers from accessing sensitive information, it was still not enough. All a hacker needed to do was send a phishing email, and they could access your account if you opened the attachment in the email or clicked on the link provided in the email. Also, a hacker could compromise a database and gain access to your passwords. We were not very safe.

2FA

2-factor authentication came into the picture to protect our passwords that seemed impossible to protect. Two-factor authentication, also commonly known as 2FA, adds a second method of identity verification to secure your accounts.

How does 2FA work?

The 2-factor authentication will first ask you to write your password. Secondly, it will ask you for something unique such as your phone or fingerprint, to verify your identity. When you combine your password with one of these two unique ways of verification, attackers will not be able to hack your account. 

Every time you log into your account, you’ll need to write your password. Then you either use your fingerprint or your phone to verify that it is you, in fact, via your smart device, which makes it impossible for a hacker to hack your account, even if they have your password, as they don’t have access to your phone or fingerprint. 

2FA uses a unique one time code every time you attempt to log into an account. The code is tied to your account and is generated by a token, a smartphone, or sent to you as a message. 

The more modern 2FA methods use a mobile app to send you an approval notification to your smart device, which you need to approve every time you attempt to log into your account. 

Two-factor authentication is one of the most effective ways to prevent hackers from attacking your accounts. 

How to turn off two-factor authentication?

There will rise occasions where you will have to turn off your two-factor authentication. Let’s say, for example, that you want to buy a new phone. You give away your old phone, or it breaks, and you can’t access it anymore. The consequence will be that you cannot access your accounts without a lot of headaches and hassle. This is because every time you attempt to log into your account, the 2FA will send a code to your phone that you don’t have access to anymore. 

Thus, it is imperative to remember to turn off 2-factor authentication whenever you change your smart devices.