Two Factor Authentication (also known as ‘2FA’ or multi-factor authentication) is a security practice that keeps your online accounts secure. It is recommended that you enable and make use of this feature with every online account you own and use regularly to ensure it is kept secure.
What is two factor authentication?
Simply, this is the term for when you log into an online account (E.g., your Facebook account or online banking) and you get a text message sent to your mobile phone with a code. You must enter the code, usually within a few minutes, before getting access to your account.
How does this improve my security?
If somebody knows (or sees you entering) your password, they are able to otherwise use this – when they are not with you – to log into and access your online accounts. That could mean having access to view and control your bank account or your private messages online. Should they get into your email account, imagine the kinds of things they could take control of since all of your online accounts are usually connected to your email address.
With two factor authentication enabled, even if somebody knows your password and correctly logs into your account, the next step they will immediately see presented is to enter a code that has been sent to your phone number. Your password was the first ‘factor’ of security protecting your data, and the requirement to enter this one-time code is the ‘second’ factor.
Without your phone, they are unable to access your account. And with devices such as the iPhone now by default, not showing text message content on the lock screen until you unlock them, that means they also would need to have your phone within reach and be able to unlock that too. The more barriers that only you can access – the more secure your accounts become.
How can I enable two factor authentication?
The process varies for each online account and device. However, you can go to your Settings / Control Panel / Options menus and look under Security / Privacy and you are sure to find the ability to enable it there. You can also consult the Help or Support sections of these websites or devices to guide you through this process. You should enable this on all or as many devices as possible!
Here are some of the most common online accounts and links to the guidance on how to enable this:
- Google Account / Gmail
- Apple ID
- Microsoft (Windows, Office, Xbox)
Website Specific 2FA Guidance
Support for Shane Bunting Website Clients
If you’re one of my clients, you can talk to me about Two Factor Authentication and any other concerns you have about running your website that I can assist with. Simply get in touch to raise a concern today. If you’re new, why not browse more Tips & Tricks in the Learn section. Or discover my Website Packages and unique approach?