In the world of cyber and digital crime, internet security is becoming more prevalent in our lives. Although regularly changing your passwords and complicating their text seems secure, a simple phishing tactic can change all that. Enter, two factor authentication, also known as TFA or 2FA.
2FA will not only require a username and password, but also requires the user to enter a piece of information only they would have access to or know. The typical three factors of authentication are: something you know, something you have and something you are. Two factor authentication means using two of these. Although retina and fingerprint scanning is seen in the movies and will soon probably be a reality, the second factor of authentication is typically a code sent to your mobile device only to be used once.
Although, 2FA is not a new concept, it is however something that is more important in the digital age that now encompasses our lives. However, many more websites and companies are now using 2FA than ever before. You can use https://twofactorauth.org/ to tell you which sites and companies are using 2FA. You can search financial institutions, social media, retail and many more. Many popular sites, including Google, Facebook and Instagram, have 2FA as well as SnapChat, PayPal and Amazon, just to list a few. Even the White House now has a campaign encouraging users to #TurnOn2FA.
More and more services now support 2FA via mobile device apps. For example, Authenticator and 2STP companion available in iOS. The apps, pre-set by you to work with certain services, has constantly rotating sets of codes to use when even 2FA is needed.
However, as we all begin to panic over what seems to be a time-consuming process with 2FA, the criminals and bad guys count on you being relaxed in protecting yourself. The process of implementing 2FA on your accounts, will be worth it in the end to help avoid some serious malicious activity and theft.