Normally, to log in to an online account, the end user needs the combination of username and password. Here the password acts as a single protection layer to secure the online accounts from malicious activities or external harmful threats. But, what if someone else, or you can say an unauthorized user, manages to know the secret password of an authentic user, then he can easily access the online account. It reflects that using just only password in the login procedure is not enough to keep the hackers away from gaining access to the online accounts of the authentic end users. In fact, it (password) is not as reliable as you think. Therefore, it has become must to use an extra layer of protection along with password-only verification in the login procedure. Two Factor Authentication security method emerges as the best solution that helps to prevent hacking of the online accounts.
A brief about Two Factor Authentication, and how it works
Two Factor Authentication, also referred to as 2FA or Two Step Verification, is a security method of verifying identity of a user. This method adds an additional layer of security in the login procedure to secure the online accounts from security breaches. With 2FA, the users require two factors – secret password and a unique verification code or OTP (One Time Passcode), to log in to their online accounts. The unique verification code is sent to the registered mobile device of the user after entering username and password, and is valid only for a few seconds.
Two Factor Authentication security method makes it harder for the attackers or unauthorized users to gain access to an authentic end user’s mobile device and online account, because knowing the victim’s password only is not enough to pass the authentication check. This security method is used to prevent the hackers from accessing sensitive data, information and online accounts of the end users.
What are authentication factors?
Those factors that determine the way in which a user can be authenticated are known as the authentication factors. These factors include the following:
Something you know (the knowledge factors) – username, email, password, PIN, answer to a secret question.
Something you have (the possession factors) – credit & debit card, mobile device, security token, Identity card.
Something you are (the inherence factors) – biometric characteristics of an individual such as iris, retina, face scan, voice recognition, fingerprint.
Systems with more demanding requirements for security may use location and time as fourth and fifth factors of authentication. For example, the users may be required to authenticate from specific locations, or during specific time windows.
The use of two different factors – password and a unique verification code to complete the login procedure successfully, makes Two Factor Authentication a highly secure method. So, enable it without any delay to prevent the online accounts hacking.