Passwords, simply aren’t as secure as they once were. If someone gets your password, it may be the case that they will then have access to most of your online accounts. This is why two-factor authentication will protect you against many nasty cyber-attacks.

What is Two-Factor Authentication?

Two-Factor authentication is simple to use, and it adds an extra layer of protection to your basic login procedure. Single-factor authentication protocols only use one username and password. By contrast, two-factor authentication requires the user to have more than one credential to gain access to their account.

How Does It Work?

Using two-factor authentication is actually easier than it might appear. It just requires your password and your phone. After you enter your password, you will get a security code sent to your mobile device. You will then need to enter the pass code to gain access to your account.

If journalist Mat Honan could go back in time and turn on two-factor authentication, he certainly would! In 2012, Honan was subject to an epic hacking episode. Honan said:

 “In the space of one hour, my entire digital life was destroyed. First my Google account was taken over, then deleted. Next my Twitter account was compromised, and used as a platform to broadcast racist and homophobic messages. And worst of all, my AppleID account was broken into, and my hackers used it to remotely erase all of the data on my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook.”

After Honan’s experience, he realized, “Had I used two-factor authentication for my Google account, it’s possible that none of this would have happened, because their ultimate goal was always to take over my Twitter account and wreak havoc. Lulz.”

Where can you use Two-Fact Authentication?

Google/Gmail: Google sends you a 6-digit passcode to your phone. You can also download the Google Authenticator app here for Android, iOS, and BlackBerry.

Apple: Apple sends you a 4-digit code to your phone. You can also enable the Find My iPhone app that will notify you when you attempt to log in from a new machine.

Facebook/Twitter: Both Facebook and Twitter send you a 6-digit code to your phone when you attempt to log in from a new machine.

PayPal: With Online Shopping at its peak, PayPal is definitely something you should set up two-step authentication on. PayPal sends you a 6-digit code to your phone.

Microsoft Accounts: Microsoft sends you a 7-digit code to your phone or alternative email address. The Microsoft two-step authentication is crucial as it will protect all aspects of your account such as Sky Drive (Personal Documents, Photos etc.) and Outlook emails.

If you want to keep your personal data and money safe, then be sure to check all your online accounts that support two-factor authentication and enable the function immediately. This will help you avoid any cyber-attacks like poor Mat Honan experienced!

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Suzan completed her Bachelor of Professional Communication (Journalism) at one of Australia’s top universities – Monash University. Since completing her degree, she has been studying for her Masters in Policing, Counter Terrorism and Intelligence ...Read more
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