Securing Online Accounts with 2-Factor Authentication

Are you wondering how to add more security to your online accounts? With website attacks occurring at an average rate of one every 39 seconds, adding as much security as possible to your accounts is a must. The Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) solution, sometimes called Multifactor authentication (MFA) or Two-Step verification, enables you to add security to your accounts by offering a second factor of authentication that only you have access to.

Why do you need 2FA?

Your online accounts may be secured with passwords that are not as strong as needed. Actually, a determined hacker could possibly crack even the most complex password. With 2FA, someone who managed to get your password would still lack this second security factor. One way to provide this factor is in the form of a one-time personal identification number (PIN) sent to your smartphone.

Setting up 2FA

Setting up 2FA is relatively easy. Each account or service has its own instructions on how to proceed. Often, it’s as simple as enabling 2FA on the settings page. A quick search on Google will lead you to the sites with the information you need. From there you can easily secure your proxy service, Facebook, and other accounts.

Available methods

After enabling 2FA on your accounts, you have several options for setting up that second security factor. The most common is to receive a code via Short Message Service (SMS) or email. Although it’s a convenient way of getting authentication, this method has now become vulnerable, with hackers able to intercept the codes.

Another method involves the use of authenticator apps such as Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, and Authy. Lastpass also offers its own authenticator app. These apps work by generating the necessary codes on the device you’re using, thereby significantly cutting down the risk of codes being intercepted.

The most secure method for 2FA implementation is the use of security keys. These are physical devices, plugged into a PC by way of a USB device or connected to a smart phone via a Near Field Communication (NFC) device. Yubikey is a great option, and some crypto wallets like Trezor also offer this feature. With this security key protecting you, no one can access your account.

Well worth it

If you’re wondering whether 2FA is really worth the effort, the answer is a resounding Yes. Along with other security solutions such as anti-viruses, password managers, and proxy servers, 2FA further strengthens your security. Cybercriminals are at work every second, on the lookout for vulnerable accounts. It pays to add 2FA to your defenses and keep your data safe.

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