Cybercriminals are always trying to gain access to passwords, bank accounts and personal information. Hacking has increased over 600% since the onset of the pandemic and it’s important now more than ever to protect one’s data. One simple and easy way to add an extra layer of security is using two-factor authentication (2FA). Two-factor authentication is an extra step added in the login process, such as a text message, to help verify one’s identity and prevent cybercriminals from accessing personal information.
Generally, passwords are very weak. About 78% of people use the same password across ALL accounts. If a hacker were to gain access to this password, they would have access to not only an individual’s emails, but bank account information, credit card information, and much more. It might seem like a hassle to add this extra layer of security to accounts, but without it, a person could be leaving themselves vulnerable to cybercriminals who want to steal their personal information. Adding this extra step not only means hackers will struggle to access personal information but will also give a real-time notification to the owner.
Although a text message with a 6-digit code is the most common type of 2FA, there are a few other types as well. There is voice verification, where the company will call the individual’s phone to verify the account. Another type of 2FA used frequently is software tokens. The Microsoft Authenticator app, for example, will generate a code for the individual to use for the specific site. A lot of apps now also have 2FA built in as well. If enabled, they will send a push notification to the user’s device to verify the identity.
Though not all sites use 2FA, it is becoming increasingly popular for services to add this feature. 2FA is generally located under settings in the security tab. Users can add their phone number, link an app, or send a push notification to verify the account. Once verified, users can enable 2FA and keep their account secure!