Add extra security with 2-factor-authentication
Two-factor authentication adds a second level of authentication to an account log-in. When you have to enter only your username and one password, that's considered a single-factor authentication. 2FA requires the user to have two out of three types of credentials before being able to access an account.
The three types are:
Something you know, such as a personal identification number (PIN), password or a pattern
Something you have, such as an ATM card, phone, or fob
Something you are, such as a biometric like a fingerprint or voice print
HOW DOES TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION WORK?
When you have two-factor authentication activated, you need two pieces of information to get into your account:
- Something you know — like a password, PIN or pattern
- Something you have — like a smartphone, ATM card or FOB
- Something you are, such as a bio-metric like a fingerprint or voice print
Why is two-factor so effective? It’s pretty easy for bad guys to guess weak passwords — especially with all the personal information available today via social media. But hackers will have a heck of a time obtaining that something you have — such as the hardware or software security token or mobile phone you’ve authorized for verification texts. You need to have that mobile phone or token in hand to get the information you need to access your account.
EXPERT TIP - Use one form of two-factor for logging in, and a second, different two-factor combo for recovery.
How to enable two-factor authentication on popular sites. It may not be the perfect security solution, but two-factor authentication reduces the risks associated with common Web activities.
Here is a list of popular web sites that offer Two-Factor Authentication. If you use other sites that require a secure login, make sure you ask those sites if they have 2-factor authentication.