The end users around the globe access their valuable online accounts and data using username and password combination. This method has previously been a very powerful and effective tool. But, with the evolution of technology and advancement in the hacking techniques, the password protection has continuously become less secure. Therefore, it is must for every end user worldwide to move ahead of password-only verification and use an extra security layer in the login procedure to secure all their digital assets from rapidly increasing malicious attacks. A single layer of protection; the password, can be easily guessed by the hackers or intruders using several hacking techniques, so it is better to use more than one layer to strengthen the security. Two Factor Authentication is the best option that helps to keep your valuable digital assets secure.
What this method is, and how it boosts security?
Two Factor Authentication, also known as 2FA and TSV (Two Step Verification), is a security method that uses two layers or factors; unique verification code or OTP (One Time Passcode) and a secret password, in the login procedure to verify whether the user is authentic or not. The unique verification code is sent to the registered mobile device of the user, once he completes the first login step i.e. enters the correct username and password combination, and is valid only for a few seconds. This security method helps greatly reduce account compromises that occur due to phishing attacks and other online frauds.
With Two Factor Authentication security method, the end users must know not only the secret password of their online account, but also they must have their registered mobile device with them, to receive unique verification code and complete the login procedure in an easy manner. If a user doesn’t know, or have, any one of the two factors; secret password and mobile device for OTP, then he can’t log in to his online account, even if he is an authentic end user. In this way, Two Factor Authentication method boosts security level of the end users’ valuable online accounts and data.
Using 2FA is usually a combination of any two of the possible three authentication factors pointed below:
Something you know (the knowledge factors) – username, password, PIN.
Something you have (the possession factors) – credit & debit card, mobile device.
Something you are (the inherence factors) – biometrics such as iris, retina, face scan, voice recognition, fingerprint, etc.
One of the most common examples of Two Factor Authentication is cash withdrawal through an ATM using your credit or debit card. To withdraw cash, you need your credit/debit card (something you have) and a 4-digit secret PIN (something you know). If either 4-digit secret PIN or credit/debit card is not available, then you can’t withdraw cash from an ATM. In the same way, if someone else hacks the secret password of your 2FA-enabled online account, then he needs access to your mobile device as well to receive unique verification code and complete the login procedure. It reflects that Two Factor Authentication security method gives complete protection to the online accounts and boosts the security.