Two-Factor Authentication

Many people don’t know about Two-Factor Authentication (or two-step authentication), but are using it daily. Two-factor authentication means that you have two sets of identification that verify a user’s identity. Basically, the information requested is for two things that only the user should know, and this information authenticates that the user IS the person they claim to be. For example, several leading financial websites require Two-Factor Authentication for desktop and mobile logins. It’s most often used when a site or a user wants a greater level of protection.

Sometimes, two-factor authentication involves using more than one device. If you use Gmail or Outlook.com and use the mobile verification, then a code is sent to your mobile device for an additional login. The benefit is that if a criminal does try and access your account, they can’t do so without your mobile device.  It makes account compromising much more difficult.

There are several different kinds of two-factor authentication, including issued tokens, thumbprint identification, GPS identification on smartphones, and text messaging. The more layers you add, the more difficult it is for a hacker to connect.

Several types of accounts offer two-factor authentication, including Office 365 MFA, Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter. Some may need your administrator to set up the access to enable this feature.

Security assessment is something that should be done routinely. Using the additional protection of a two-factor authentication can ensure that the information that is most valued will remain secured.

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