What is 2FA and Why You Should Use it

Everyone hates remembering the passel of passwords required in our daily lives. You have your email password, online banking password, work password, Netflix password… you even need a password to order a pizza! 

It’s gotten to a point where many people use the same password for every online account they have… and who can blame them!

And now there is something we’re being bothered with called 2FA or MFA, also known as Two Factor Authentication or Multi Factor Authentication. This is another layer of security, because apparently our endless myriad of passwords aren’t good enough by themselves.

You’re probably thinking, “just great, one more thing to remember”. I don’t blame you, but the next time you see the little prompt when you log into your bank to turn on this thing called 2FA, you might seriously consider doing it.

What is 2FA?

Two Factor Authentication (2FA) is not something to remember like a password. It’s simply a method of making the notorious criminals of the internet lives’ that much harder… and who doesn’t want to do that anyway? 2FA is simply a second form of authentication beyond your password.  

This makes your password the first factor;  what would your second factor be? It could be any other piece of information that you know, such as your childhood nickname. It could be something in your possession, like a phone or usb device; or it could be your own biometric data like a fingerprint or your own beautiful face.

There are a lot of different choices, but for most, it’s simply setting up your phone to receive a text message when you’re logging into your account. You enter your password to login, and you then receive a text message with a special code, which you then enter after your password. There, authentication complete.

Why should I use 2FA?

That way, a crook who obtained your credentials through nefarious means, or guessed that your password was actually “password” all along, will still need something else to take over your account.

You can almost visualize the scene. Harry the Hacker, fresh off his heist of stealing a big corporation’s database full of logins, immediately starts checking to see which accounts he can break into. Without 2FA, he would have no problem making your life miserable with the access he could obtain.

So, the next time you get asked if you want to enable 2FA, give it a serious thought. It just might save you a lot of bother and trouble in the future. And yay, not another password to remember!

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