Two Factor Authentication

What is Two Factor Authentication?

Two Factor Authentication (TFA or 2FA) or Multi-factor Authentication refers to a practice commonly used by financial institutions and other sensitive applications to make sure that the person signing into an account is really that person and not a hacker. It is used above and beyond the usual login credentials. You may have used 2FA without realizing what it was called.  Like me, when I first encountered it a few years ago, you may have been annoyed that your bank was asking you to prove your identity when you’ve already entered your username and password.

Can you explain that again?Two Factor Authentication Code

Your UserID and Password together make up the first factor of authentication. The second factor is a code that is known only to you.  For example, when you receive a six digit code on your cell phone to provide after you’ve entered your password.  Another example is commonly used with credit cards.  The credit card number, expiration date, and the sneaky code on the back are all available to someone with the card in their hands.  2FA would ask you for your billing zip code.

Why is 2FA important?

Two Factor Authentication provides another level of protection for your accounts.  It will work with your computer, your tablet, and your phone.  It helps to ensure that your sensitive information isn’t available to hackers.

According to Secure Envoy: “With standard security procedures (especially online) only requiring a simple username and password it has become increasingly easy for criminals (either in organised gangs or working alone) to gain access to a user’s private data such as personal and financial details and then use that information to commit fraudulent acts, generally of a financial nature.”

Want to learn more?  Check out these articles:

  • https://www.cnet.com/news/two-factor-authentication-what-you-need-to-know-faq/
  • http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2456400,00.asp
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-factor_authentication

We recommend that you enable Two Factor Authentication for all of your email, financial, and other sensitive accounts.

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fifteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area as well as remote service throughout North America.

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