Two Factor Authentication and why you should be using it.

In 2017 its no longer sufficient to have just a password protecting your accounts. Automated brute-force software called bots can try millions of passwords in a short amount of time to brute-force and gain access to an account.

As computing power increases the problem is only going to get worse. More info on brute force attacks van be found here https://www.wordfence.com/learn/brute-force-attacks. There is a few steps you can take to vastly improve your online security. Firstly if available, you should always switch on two factor authentication. Second, all your passwords should be random, complex and unique. This can be made easy with a decent password manager.

What is Two factor authentication?

two factor authentication from googleTwo Factor Authentication or 2FA is a way of protecting your accounts from being accessed by others EVEN if you password is stolen. Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and many others online services have this as an option. Having your password stolen is easier than you may think. One common way of having your password stolen is by accidentally opening an email that is pretending to be from ebay etc, you then enter your password believing it to be a legitimate site, you wont even notice your error until its too late! To counter this type of attack Two Factor Authentication will verify its really you by asking you for a piece of information on you can know. The most popular method is via unique code sent to you by text message or generated via an app on your mobile device. You can then optionally tell the service to remember your device so you only need do this infrequently. Two Factor doesn’t have to be done via a mobile phone there are other ways such as via email, an app or by using special USB stick. If you already have a card reader from your bank then you are already using a form of 2FA.

Summary

Too summarise, switch on two factor authentication for all your services that have it as an option. Next, consider using a password manager to generate and secure unique complex passwords for all your online accounts, and remember to immediately switch on two factor for you password manager login.

As always, I advise you to do your own research before following someones advice on the internet. The aim of this post was to the make you think about your security and point you in the right direction

Stay safe!

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