Using Two Factor Authentication (2FA) to Secure Online Accounts

Written By PhilG

Bradford Marketing Hub contains articles and information that help small and medium service businesses.

Two factor authentication (2FA) is a second door and second lock.

Think of Two Factor Authentication like this. The password you use to protect your social media, website, and online storage accounts is like the lock in your front door.

Two Factor Authentication to Secure Online Accounts.

Now a story using a house front door analogy. When I was a child, my friend’s house had a vestibule. To get into his house, you opened the front door, went into an antechamber where you wiped your feet and put your shoes in a rack. Now in the vestibule, you need to unlock a second door to enter the main house. 

Two factor authentication (2FA) is that second door. You unlock the first door using the website password, then you need a second (2FA) code to open the second door before gaining access to your account (or getting into the house). More info.

2FA Needs your smartphone or other hardware device.

Two factor authentication comes in various forms, but the concept is simple. You need something you own, such as your smartphone or a YubiKey to complete the log in process. 

Google Authenticator 2FA app on your smartphone.

Lots of people use a phone app called Google Authenticator to add extra security to their accounts. It’s like having a secret handshake to get in. First, you type your password as usual. Then, the app gives you a special code that you also type in. The best part is, this code is just for your phone, and it changes every 30 seconds. So, even if someone tries to steal your login code, it won’t work for long. It’s like having a secret code that keeps changing to keep the bad guys out!

Your Password is the first key. Google Authenticator is the second key.

Going back to our house door analogy, your password opens the first door. Google authenticator opens the second door. And you can’t get in until you’ve opened both doors.

Big businesses have data breaches.

Just a few of the big businesses affected by data breaches are… 

  • Yahoo.
  • Microsoft.
  • Facebook.
  • LinkedIn.
  • Adobe.
  • eBay.

2FA Might give you time to change your password.

If a big business you have an account with has a data breach, your 2FA might keep the hackers out of your account long enough for you to change your password and keep your information safe. If you’re lucky.

Now, let’s examine the relevance of 2FA in different situations.

For the Self-Employed Pro:
Social Media Accounts: Go to your account settings, find the 2FA option, and follow the instructions. Usually, it involves linking your phone to your account.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram.

Website: If you manage your website, check your hosting or website platform for 2FA options. It might be an app or a text message code. WordPress 2FA.

For the Medium-Sized Company Employee:
Company Website: If you’re updating the site, ask your IT team about implementing 2FA. They can guide you through the process or set it up for you.

Dropbox or Similar Storage: Look into the security settings of your storage platform. Many of these services offer 2FA as an option. It might involve linking your account to an authenticator app or getting codes via text.

2FA (Two Factor Authentication) acts as an additional guard for your online world. It might take a few extra seconds, but it’s time well spent to keep your accounts safe from prying eyes.

And finally, learn how to choose strong passwords.

Read more useful articles like this in my blog...