As online hacking becomes more and more prevalent, many websites are implementing Two-factor authentication (2FA) for increased user security. Two-factor authentication requires two steps of identity verification: something you know (like a password or answer to a personal question) and something you have (code or security token sent to your mobile phone or email address). Adding an extra identification factor makes it even more difficult for hackers to gain access to your account.
How exactly does 2FA work?
Two-factor authentication works by requiring a second identification method after entering your username and password. As mentioned above, the first verification method is through a traditional password and the second is through something you possess such as your phone or email address.
A unique security code or token is sent to you via text or email to further verify your identity. Hackers are much more unlikely to determine your password and gain access to your physical phone, so this is why Two-factor authentication is so effective.
Most common forms of 2FA:
There are several different methods of Two-factor authentication:
- Phone Call
- Software or App
Passwords and 2FA
Though 2FA will make your account harder to infiltrate, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your account is unhackable. Creating a password that is difficult for hackers to guess is crucial to the security of your account. A strong password should meet several requirements:
- Avoid common passwords such as “password” or “123456789”
- Don’t use passwords you’re currently using
- Make your password unique, especially for important accounts
- Passwords should be long, at least 12 characters
- Refrain from using personal information that could be easily found
After you’ve created and assigned your passwords, you’ll need to be sure they are kept hidden. Your written passwords will need to be hidden securely or you should consider using a password manager. Here you will find a list of reputable password managers.
Do you need to reset your passwords?
Maybe you’ve dropped the ball on using difficult passwords and you’re simply using the same one over and over. Even though Two-factor authentication greatly increases the security of your accounts, your passwords are still important.
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