Identity theft and online data compromises have become too common occurrences in present scenario, due to the lack of optimum security level. A plenty of the end users’ valuable online accounts, data and information are being compromised regularly worldwide. One of the major causes that give rise to hacking incidents, or accounts compromise, is the weak passwords. So, it is must for the authentic end users globally to move ahead of using just password-alone verification in the login procedure to provide better security to the online data, and protect it from all sorts of malicious attacks. 2FA (Two Factor Authentication) is the perfect solution that ensures better protection of your precious online accounts and data, when secret passwords get compromised.
What is Two Factor Authentication and how does it work?
Two Factor Authentication, also referred to as Two Step Verification, is an authentication mechanism or security method that adds an additional layer of security in the normal login process to verify identity of the user. This security method lets people identity themselves more securely by adding a second layer of security. 2FA (Two Factor Authentication), as the name suggests, uses two different security layers or factors – password; the first factor, and a unique verification code or OTP (One Time Passcode); the second factor, to check identity of the user before providing him access. Every authentic end user knows the username and password of his account, but unique verification code is sent to his registered mobile number, once he enters the right username and password combination. This unique code is valid only for a few seconds.
Due to the use of second step i.e. OTP in the login procedure, Two Factor Authentication security method ensures better protection of your online data. You probably use this method all the time when you withdraw cash from ATM. This (cash withdrawal) is the most common example of 2FA method.
Two Factor Authentication uses any two of the possible three authentication factors that have been given below:
Something you know (the knowledge factor) – username, password, PIN.
Something you have (the possession factor) – credit & debit card, mobile phone, unique verification code.
Something you are (the inherence factor) – biometric characteristics; iris, retina, face scan, voice recognition, fingerprint, of the individual.
2FA security method requests any two of these factors, especially ‘something you know’ and ‘something you have’. Two Factor Authentication makes it much more difficult for someone else to impersonate an authentic user. With 2FA security method, if a user’s username and password were to be compromised, the attacker still wouldn’t be able to provide the user’s second form of authentication.