/What Is 2FA and How Do You Set It Up?

What Is 2FA and How Do You Set It Up?

Before everything was online, we used watermarks and kept our sensitive information under lock and key.

Now that we have everything from birth certificates, tax documentation, and credit cards saved or scanned online new methods of security need to be executed.

Implementing 2FA adds two additional levels of security to your online accounts, making it harder for potential cybercriminals and in turn keeping your information private.

What Is 2FA?

Two-Factor Authentication or 2FA is a security feature that needs two verification methods to prove you are the authorized user. This security feature can be created or installed to access online accounts or computer systems. 

There are three different types of factors of authentication. Here’s the breakdown of these factors: password (pins included), hardware token (cellphone), and biometrics scanner (finger/face scanner). A 2FA uses two out of the three, so let’s say you enter a password, and then you receive a text asking if you are in fact trying to access the account.

What It Does

For small business needs or if you feel unsure about what your potential IT safety needs are, consider reaching out to IT groups for a security consultation. Working in hand with IT professionals can be like having a partner that has your back online.

2FA makes it difficult for hackers and other cybercriminals to access your information. If your password were to be leaked, you would still be able to have a second form of protection. Think of 2FA as a back-up plan to your back-up.

Although 2FA can mean you take a bit longer to access your account, those extra seconds spent can save you hours dealing with tech support or your credit card company.

How Do You Set It Up?

2FA is offered on a slew of websites and in many cases, it simply involves going into settings for the website and clicking “Enable Two-Factor Authentication. Websites like Gooogle, Facebook, Instagram, Indeed, and plenty of others offer it. 

Finding out which two factors of authentication to use depends wholly on you. If you always have your phone on you and have the same phone number for all your accounts consider a hardware token. There are options where your account and phone auto sync and you won’t even have to enter any codes. 

If you feel comfortable with passwords that are always a great option, and for those that can’t remember passwords you can always autosave them and your computer will remember them for you.

Stay Safe Online

There are young adults now that have never lived without cellphones or internet access. Online payment methods are being adopted by businesses big and small, our personal information will no longer be stored in one spot but across multiple platforms.  

Cybersecurity initiatives like 2FA implementation give us, the user, a sense of control. It does not cost us anything, but can save us time and trouble down the line. Just as we wear seatbelts for the sake of safety, 2FA protects us online.

Interested in learning more about 2FA? Check out our other articles on cybersecurity.