With the rise in cybercrimes, passwords are not enough to protect our online footprint from frauds and other malicious activities and that’s where 2-factor authentication(2FA) comes in. It’s the second layer of protection beyond the basic password.
Companies like Facebook and Google and Apple have integrated this technology across their services for better protection of user data and privacy. Amazon has enabled this feature on its video streaming app in order to protect unauthorised usage.
So what exactly is it?
2FA is somewhat like a second door that prevents any potential mishaps with your sensitive information by providing a second layer of authentication beyond passwords.
It usually takes many forms like a code being sent via SMS, Voice or email, A push notification on your phone with the location of the device logging in, or a set of pre-generated codes that you can keep with yourself.
All of these have a single motive being you authenticating the logging in process and not someone else. A form of 2FA that is not very common is the physical form. Special USB keys can be used for authentication and logging in by physically connecting to the system and is used by YouTubers to protect their accounts.
Is it useful?
Yes, it is. It will prevent any unauthorised access to your accounts with you knowing. It’s unique and dynamic so can’t be replicated like a password. It’s numeric or alpha-numeric, making it harder to guess. It can be accessed only by you, ensuring confidentiality.
Where can I use it?
Almost everywhere. From Facebook to Zomato all apps come with some form of 2FA be it via SMS or Email.
Companies like Apple and Google have enabled2FA via push notification on their devices where the authentication is done by you after seeing all the relevant information such as place, device etc.
You will be prompted to set 2FA when you log in if you don’t have it already set up. In today’s world,2FA is a must and must be set up by everyone for extra protection and more importantly, peace of mind.