Two Factor Authentication – “Enable It, Secure Accounts”

Two Factor Authentication – “Enable It, Secure Accounts”

The online accounts of the authentic end users worldwide are increasingly getting vulnerable to hacking and other malicious attacks. It is because the hackers use the advanced cryptographic techniques/methods to steal your secret password and gain access to your online account. Password, being a single layer of protection, is no longer strong enough in today’s scenario to secure your valuable online accounts and sensitive data from getting compromised. Therefore, it has become must for all the end users to use an additional protection layer along with the secret password in the login process. The benefit of adding extra layer is that if the secret password gets compromised, then the second layer will protect online accounts of the end users from all sorts of security breaches. Two Factor Authentication is an ideal option that secures accounts.

Definition

Two Factor Authentication (2FA), also known as Two Step Verification, is an authentication mechanism that adds an extra security layer in the normal login procedure to verify identity of the user who is logging in to the account. 2FA security method requires two different factors; secret password and a unique verification code or OTP (One Time Passcode), to verify whether the user is authentic or not. The unique verification code is sent to the registered mobile device of the user immediately after entering the correct username and password combination, and is valid only for a few seconds.

Two Factor Authentication security method verifies your identity by requiring both ‘something you know’ and ‘something you have’ when you log in to your account. The thing you need to know is username and a password or a PIN, and the thing you need to have is a mobile phone or any other device that can receive OTP generated by 2FA app.

Different authentication factors for verifying the end users’ identity

Below are the different types of authentication factors:

The knowledge factors (something you know) – username, password, a secret PIN.

The possession factors (something you have) – credit & debit card, mobile phone or any other device.

The inherence factors (something you are) – biometrics like iris, retina, face scan, fingerprint, voice recognition.

Time and Location factors – geographic location.

2FA security method combines any two of the above-listed authentication factors, especially ‘something you know’ and ‘something you have’.

One of the most common examples of Two Factor Authentication security method is cash withdrawal through an ATM using your credit/debit card. For withdrawing cash successfully, you enter card; something you have, and a secret 4-digit PIN; something you know. Without the availability of both card and PIN, cash withdrawal is impossible even if you are a real owner of the card. With 2FA, if someone else hacks your secret password, then he needs access to your registered mobile device as well for receiving unique verification code and logging in to the account. In this way, Two Factor Authentication secures your precious digital assets from all sorts of security breaches.

Conclusion

2FA greatly increases your valuable online accounts, sensitive data and information security, and is the single most effective security measure after using highly complex passwords. That’s why it can be concluded that all the authentic end users worldwide must enable Two Factor Authentication security method for a better account security.

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