Series of handy tips – why you need to activate your 2 factor authentication
Series of handy tips – why you need to activate your 2 factor authentication. Two locks are better than one! Authentication leaks are among the most dangerous security breaches because they’re so hard to spot. There are few tell-tale signs: it looks as if an authentic user has logged in.
Two-factor authentication uses an additional factor of authentication in combination with a username and password. The TFA most users are familiar with involves a one-time code being sent to a device in the user’s possession — their phone or a dedicated dongle. If the user can demonstrate that they know the number, it proves they have possession of the device. Passwords and usernames leak all the time, but it’s much less likely that an attacker would have access to the password, the username, and a trusted user’s unlocked phone at the same time.
While a strong password and a bit of common sense will go a long to keeping your accounts safe, enabling two-factor authenticators is an easy and free second step that’s worth taking. After all, having your account hacked could put you in danger, cost you cash, or be embarrassing — your private messages could be leaked or hackers could use your account to spew spam, for example. If there were a simple, easy tool to almost completely prevent that, why wouldn’t you?
Don’t be fooled by the serious sounding term — the security industry loves its jargon — as two-factor authentication (2FA, because the security industry also loves acronyms) is merely a double-check that you are who you say you are. Think of it as two locks on your door: the first lock is your password, the second lock is a code sent to your phone. If criminals get their hands on one key, the second lock will help keep the door secure. Best of all, that second lock is usually something only you would have access to, but even so, it’s harder for criminals to get two keys than it is one.
Why the extra precaution? People’s passwords get intercepted, successfully guessed, or stolen. This is one of the most common ways for people to get hijacked. That’s particularly true if you use the same (or similar) password across multiple websites or apps. Hackers will sometimes publish lists of usernames and passwords they’ve stolen, allowing others to try those credentials across other sites. If your Instagram password is leaked and you’ve used the same one for Snapchat, both accounts could be at risk.
But if you have 2FA enabled, that second lock is still in place. Even if somebody steals or guesses your password, or you’ve reused a password from another service and that service has been breached, the hacker still will not be able to get into your account, enabling 2FA is a “no-brainer”. You would need to go into some app/ service settings to enable this.
Let’s find the settings for these in most popular sites we use:
- GMail – is under my account then sign in options.
- Facebook – is under settings then security and login
- Twitter – as per this article, you need to go to account settings and click on verify login.
Let me know other services you want to know in the comments below. You can now login using your G+, Facebook or Twitter accounts. Hope you have enjoyed reading my series of handy tips – why you need to activate your 2 factor authentication. You can contact me at any time to have a chat.