Two Factor Authentication also known as 2FA, TFA, Multi-Factor Authentication, or 2 step verification is an extra layer of security designed to protect your online services like Gmail, Facebook, Office 365, Yahoo, and other similar online services.
Banks have been among the first to encourage the use of two-factor authentication by means of a hardware token that was used when concluding a transaction via online banking. The technology has evolved into what is called tokenless authentication which is authentication via mobile SMS technology or an Android or iOS app.
To give you an everyday example of two-factor authentication lets take a look at Gmail
- You’ll enter your password – Whenever you sign in to Google, you’ll enter your password as usual.
- You’ll be asked for something else – Then, a code will be sent to your phone via text or voice call.
- You will be successfully logged into your account once you enter the verification code and this is what they call 2 step verification.
This process keeps your account safe in that if a cybercriminal gets hold of your username and password it will not be enough to gain access to your online service. This is especially handy when it comes to online banking.
Here’s how it can save you thousands of $$$
Let’s say that your email account was hacked and the hacker forwarded all incoming emails with the word invoice to his own address. He then edited the invoice with his banking details and sent it back to you as though it was coming from the original sender. You made payment into the hacker’s account thinking you are paying your supplier.
If you had 2FA activated, your account would not be hackable and you would have saved thousands of $$$.
In today’s world of increasing cybercrime and internet fraud, many people will be highly familiar with the importance of online security, logins, usernames, and passwords.
All too often, reports in the media explain about passwords that are stolen, either electronically or by social engineering techniques. Passwords that are easily guessable, passwords that can be sniffed or captured by the hardware of software keyloggers.
Viruses and malicious code all play a part in trying to obtain a user’s passwords. To put all of this into perspective, passwords are under attack therefore it is imperative to activate 2FA wherever possible.