Benefits of Two Factor Authentication (2FA)
As many of us know, there is a ton of sensitive information stored in our online accounts. There are many ways to secure these accounts to make sure they can’t be accessed by unauthorised persons. One of these extra security methods, which is growing in popularity, is known as two-factor authentication, or 2FA. In this article, we will tell you about two-factor authentication and the benefits it has for online security.
What is Two-factor authentication (2FA)?
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an additional layer of security to verify a user’s identity and protect accounts from unauthorised access. Two-factor authentication works by requiring any of the following:
- Knowledge factors: something you know, like a password, PIN, or answer to a security question;
- Possession factors: something you have, like code sent to a trusted device that is not easily duplicated and can be used for login verification
- Inherent factors: something you are, like biometric data that can be used for login verification (e.g., fingerprint).
With 2FA, users are required to use two different types of verification factors to access their accounts. For example, if you have 2FA enabled and log in using your email address and password, you will be prompted to enter a verification code. This verification code can be sent via text message or generated by an app on your mobile device. Once you enter the correct verification code, you will be able to access your account.
What Are Its Benefits?
We live in an era of technology where information is omnipresent; everyone has access to everything at the touch of a button. And it can be easily accessed by hackers and used for wrong purposes if we don’t take proper security measures to protect our data.
The majority of people only depend on passwords to protect their data. But passwords are not secure enough as they can be hacked as well. But, 2FA provides an extra layer to protect sensitive data and can make it much more difficult for users’ data to be compromised. It offers many benefits to both users and businesses. Here are some of the benefits of two-factor authentication:
It’s an additional layer of security and peace of mind. Even though a password is usually good to protect your account, it can still be vulnerable to attacks like phishing or brute force attacks.
If a hacker steals your password, they still need another method to authenticate themselves as you and access your information. 2FA makes it harder for hackers to gain access to your accounts and steal personal data, such as credit card information or bank account numbers.
If you forget your password, 2FA can help you prove that you are who you say you are so you can recover your account. Without it, other ways to recover your accounts are much more complicated or even impossible, depending on the provider’s account recovery policies.
Two-factor authentication also makes logging into accounts easier and more convenient. It will work no matter where you are or what device you’re using. You can also choose not to require verification codes on devices that you trust, such as personal computers and tablets.
Many two-factor authentications allow you to see where logins were attempted from. For example, if someone tries logging into your account from an unfamiliar location, you’ll get a notification about it on your phone, and you can allow it or deny the access.
Why You Should Use Two Factor Authentication
In today’s world, cyber-criminals are not only more prevalent but also more sophisticated in their efforts to gain access to your most personal information. Most often, these hackers rely on automated scripts and brute force for password guessing.
Without 2FA enabled, anyone who has access to your email address/user name and password can log in as you. So, 2FA adds an extra layer of security and is a recommended security measure by experts to make it more difficult for hackers to gain access.
Data breaches have become commonplace as we have witnessed many massive data breaches incidents in the past few years. Hackers attacked three billion Yahoo user accounts in 2013; the Marriott hotel chain was hacked in 2018 and exposed over five hundred million customer records; and Equifax lost 143 million user accounts in 2017, including social security numbers.
With these types of attacks still happening today, it is crucial that you do everything you can to protect your personal data from falling into the hands of cybercriminals. Two-factor authentication is one of the easiest ways for you to secure your online accounts with a strong layer of protection.
2FA can also help protect against phishing attacks, a common tactic used by hackers where they try and trick you into giving up confidential information such as usernames and passwords. If a hacker tries sending an email pretending to be a legitimate site and requests that you log in using your username and password, this information could then be used for identity theft purposes.
With 2FA, even if a hacker has managed to steal someone’s username and password, he or she still won’t be able to access the system because of the second layer of validation.
To sum it all up, 2FA is a great way to ensure your accounts are secured and safe from prying eyes. Though slightly more inconvenient than having just one layer of security, 2FA will, in the long run, prove to be well worth the effort.
If you have the chance to implement a two-factor authentication system on any of your accounts, it’s worth taking advantage of. It is now more important than ever, especially given the number of cyber security threats that exist today. It might not be a cure-all for online security, but it’s still one more line of defence against potential intrusions and breaches.
Written by The Original PC Doctor on 1/2/2022.