Two Factor Authentication, or 2FA, takes a combination of generally accepted forms of authentication to further secure your login to big sites and applications such as Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Apple iCloud and others. This is an extra layer of protection that utilizes something you know such as a password, and something only you has, such as a cell phone or fingerprint. This is not necessarily a new idea, many of us use this everyday when making purchases with a credit card and asked to enter a zip code for verification.
There are 3 generally accepted factors of authentication:
Something you know – such as a password
Something you have – such as a hardware token like a cell phone
Something you are – such as your fingerprint
Two Factor Authentication takes two of the above in order to secure your log in. Such that if you have 2FA enabled on Facebook for instance, when you attempt to log into Facebook on a new device or browser you will be asked to confirm this log in with a second form of authentication which can be any of the three described above.
This form of authenticating is especially advised for sites and applications that house your personal information, credit cards, location information, are tied to other accounts, and could otherwise affect your personal life such as email, social media – the list is endless!
A few big names have taken head to this advice by employing 2FA, although the process is not entirely seamless, great strides have been taken to make using 2FA as easy as possible. Look for 2FA on your favorite big name sites and applications.
Set up Google 2FA here
Set up Apple 2FA here
Set up Microsoft 2FA here
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