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Two Factor Authentication

Hacking Explainers: Two-Factor Authentication

13 Apr 2020
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Having strong, unique passwords is a great first step towards keeping your online details secure, but in 2020 you should definitely be adding an extra layer of protection such as two-factor authentication (commonly known as 2FA) to all your accounts.

Motherboard's Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai explains what two-factor authentication is and how you can use it to protect your personal details.

more juice on two-factor authentication

Most services these days offer two-factor authentication, so it doesn’t hurt turning it on in as many places as you can, but you should especially do so with important personal accounts such as your email, social media platforms, as well as banking and financial services.

By enabling two-factor, you'll need to provide something more than just a password when you log in to these accounts. Traditionally, this has been a numerical code sent to your mobile phone via text message. Increasingly however, the “second factor” is a code created by an app that you'll need to input in order to log in to any accounts that have 2FA enabled.

Authentication apps have quickly become the most popular way to enable two-factor across your accounts and thankfully they're easy to use, with straightforward setup processes once they've been installed. Some of the most popular 2FA apps include Google Authenticator,Microsoft Authenticator and Authy.

Besides offering better security than text message-based two factor, using these apps has an added advantage because they work offline. This means they will work even if your mobile phone doesn't have coverage at the time you're trying to log in on another device. This can prove to be especially handy when you’re travelling overseas and need to securely log in to services such as online banking.

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