Are you curious about the benefits of using two factor authentication? Do you want to know how it is helping you and your business? Keep reading below to find out how two factor authentication works and why you need it.
The year 2019 had a 79% growth in data breaches from 2018. However, it can get worse this year, especially for businesses that rely on the internet. Because of this, business owners are looking into improving security for their businesses.
One of the best security features is two factor authentication. Below, we’ll discuss what is two factor authentication and how it works. We’ll also discuss how you use or enable it on your device.
- What Is Two Factor Authentication?
As its name suggests, two factor authentication adds a second level of authentication to an account that requires a password log in. That second factor may be a PIN, other passwords, or biometric verification. Some systems use an AM card, phone, or pattern.
The two factor authentication is a way to increase security to an account. It will act as a second key in case your first wall of protection fails. If you’re curious, the typical first wall consists of your password and username or email.
Two factor authentication or 2FA isn’t a new concept or technology. For a long time now, People have been using it for their credit card. Banks and companies look for physical IDs as the second authentication key.
Its popularity likely comes from the rising awareness of increased security protocols. You may remember Facebook asking you if you want to set up the two-step verification. You may recall PayPal asking you to update your security key and add your phone number.
These are examples of the recent changes companies made and adopted to ensure the security of their customers.
- How Two Factor Authentication Protects You From Hackers
As we mentioned, you’re adding a second “lock” to your accounts and apps. This second key is harder for cybercriminals to get. Unlike your password or PIN, hackers can’t use their typical methods of getting your second key.
This is especially useful if you enabled the one-time password or OTP on your smartphone. Even if hackers have access to your log-in information, they don’t have access to your phone.
Also, the 2FA acts as a sort of alert or ping for you. You’d know right away if someone was trying to access your account. That’s because two factor authentication asks for immediate confirmation on your phone when you enter your password.
- Weaknesses of Two Factor Authentication
While it improves your online and account login security, it’s not total protection. Indeed, cybercriminals will have a harder time getting into your account. However, this doesn’t mean that your account is invulnerable to a data breach.
Remember, no security product or system offers absolute, foolproof protection. However, that isn’t stopping security companies from finding ways to achieve that. For now, using two-factor authorization is the best thing to improve account security.
Other ways to ensure that your account information remains safe is to keep such information to yourself. Keep your personal information private, especially if you use it as your password or PIN. Practice the methods of securing your account and information along with using 2FA.
- Why You Need Two Factor Authentication
The top benefits of using two factor authentication include improved security. Passwords can get stolen, traced, or accessed. By adding a second layer of security, it makes it more difficult for hackers to access your account.
This stops identity theft and fraud in their tracks. If you apply 2FA in your online business, you’re also encouraging trust and security for your clients. It’ll improve your relationships with clients and give them a good user experience.
In 2019, the average cost of a data breach in total was $8.19 million, according to Forbes. This includes direct, indirect, and hidden costs. Examples of each one consist of customers, reputation, and lost business hours. With that said, 2FA can reduce the risks of data breaches in your company.
Finally, because you feel more at ease with the security of your data, you can focus on more important things. You will be more productive and flexible. You’ll know that the systems you use for your business are less at risk of a data breach.
- How to Use Two Factor Authentication
Most mobile apps and online accounts now let you enable two factor authentication. The typical way of turning on two-step verification on an app is to go to the Settings menu. Look for the “Security” menu and then find “Two Factor Authentication.”
Some apps and social media will remind you to increase your security. They’ll give you the link to their security menu and give you instructions on how to set up your 2FA. If you need to turn off two factor authentication, all you need to do is to open the same menus and disable it.
The same applies to gadgets that use 2FA, like iPhones. Apple asks you to set up two factor authentication for your Apple ID. This way, only you can access your iPhone, synced media, and apps you have on it.
- How Two Factor Authentication Can Become an Inconvenience
Because you’re adding a second layer to your security, you’re also adding an extra step to the log-in process. This can be a little annoying, especially if you need to log into your account as soon as possible. Some account vendors like Twitter are trying to reduce this inconvenience.
Let’s say the second step for your two factor authentication is a one-time password (OTP) sent to your phone. What if you log into a new computer and you don’t have your mobile phone with you? You’ll have to make sure you have your smartphone with you whenever you log into a new computer. That can be more than a minor inconvenience.
While it can sometimes test your patience, remember that it’s also for your data security and privacy. You may feel tempted to turn off the two-step verification. However, it’s still better that you get used to the process than risking your security.
Improve Your Online Defenses
That ends our guide on two-factor authentication and how it helps you. We hope that you learned something useful from this guide on 2FA. We also hope you start using it more now that you know what it does.
Did you like reading about how to improve your security with 2FA? Do you want to learn more about technology advice, tips, and tricks? Check out our other posts for more security and tech content like this.