Two factor authentication, or 2FA, is a type of multi factor authentication that improves the security of your digital accounts by requiring two factors to verify your identity.
These factors are usually split in two categories. Something you know, such as a username and password, and something you have, such as a physical token or a phone app.
Here are the most common types of multi factor authentication.
- SMS codes
- Phone calls
- Email codes
- Authentication apps
- Hardware tokens
- Fingerprint sensors
There’s a great variety of 2 factor authentication apps to choose from today, and some of them come with additional security features. For example, BodyGuard Mobile Security allows you to lock your apps with a pin but also includes tools such as a VPN and phone locator.
But how important is 2FA really? Let’s take a look.
2 step verification safeguards your digital accounts from phishing, brute force attempts, social engineering, and much more.
You need it because it’s a more effective way of controlling access than simply protecting your personal data with a password. If someone hacks into a 2FA-protected account, they will still need the second access factor, such as an SMS verification code.
Without 2FA, your only defense against a hacker or cybercriminal looking to steal your personal information is a password.
Now that you know what 2 factor authentication is all about, it’s time to test it out for yourself.
Since you probably already have a Google account, you can start by setting up Google 2 step verification. Just follow the eight steps we outlined below.
- Open your Google account page.
- Click on the “Security” tab in the upper menu.
- Click on “2 Step Verification” under “Signing in to Google.”
- Click the “Get Started” button on the next page, and you will be logged out.
- Log back into your account again to prove that it’s you.
- Pick the type of multi factor authentication (phone prompt, physical security key, text message, or phone call) and click the “Continue” button.
- Pick the type of backup option (additional number or passcode) in case you lose your phone and click the “Next” button.
- Confirm that you want to turn on two factor authentication by clicking the “Turn on” button.
And voila, you just took your Google account’s security to the next level. Simple as that.
Using a password to access your online accounts is an outdated practice that puts you at risk. Thanks to two factor authentication, you can greatly improve your level of security with a single extra step.
So, act today and start using authentication apps to stay safe. It might take a little while to get used to, but keeping your data secure significantly outweighs the few seconds of reduced convenience.