Using Two Factor Authentication to Protect Your Accounts

Cyber Crime is Huge; Don’t be a Victim

Even if you don’t recognize the term, you have likely used two factor authentication in your online life.  Actually, you have probably used it in the last few days.  2FA or TFA, common abbreviations for two factor authentication, has been around for a long time.  It’s becoming more popular, and will likely be replaced in the future with something even more secure.

Computer repair in Billings, MT

So what is 2FA?  How do you use it?  Here at iDoctor, the best computer repair shop in Billings, we want your accounts to be safe.  Let’s jump right in.

What is Two Factor Authentication?

2FA is any time you have to input two different identifying factors before accessing an account.  It can be as simple as using a debit card (you use the card, that’s identifier number 1, and you input your PIN, that’s identifier number 2), or as cumbersome as answering those security questions that you completely forgot the answer to.

Starting to sound more familiar?  There are a number of methods that you can use to secure your account so even if someone gets a hold of your password, they will have trouble getting into your private data.

How Two Factor Authentication Works

2FA is usually only seen the first time you log in with a device.  For instance, here is a recent example when trying to log into an online banking account.

You go to the website, click to log in.  You input your username and password.  Instead of taking you directly to your account, you go to a screen that looks like this one.

two factor authentication

You can answer the security question, if you remember it, or you can have a text message sent to your phone.  That text will have a PIN that you enter to prove that you really should have access to this account.

But there are other methods for 2FA.  One that has been incorporated to an extent is biometric authentication.  We all know about this with our iPhones.  While the phones don’t have a true 2 step process, they have largely switched from passcode, to a thumbprint or face scan.  You can turn on both passcode and Touch ID, but the passcode will override the Touch ID.

Biometrics, however, have largely not made their way to computers yet.  There are devices that will plug into the USB port and require a fingerprint in order to access the computer and certain sites.  But until all secure websites have this as an option, it won’t do you as much good.  Be on the lookout, it’s coming.

Keep Your Private Data Safe

Using 2FA is a pain.  It slows down the login process, it forces you to remember your passwords, security questions, and more, and it’s tempting to bypass it.  But if you have ever been the victim of cyber crime, where someone has stolen your password and accessed your accounts, you know the value.

Here at iDoctor, we want you to be safe with your devices.  It may mean taking an extra 30 seconds to access your devices, but it’s well worth the time in order to prevent your personal information from being stolen.  If a site offers two factor authentication, by all means, set it up.