What is Two Factor Authentication?

The Internet is an incredibly convenient tool where you can perform a multitude of tasks at the tip of a finger that would have been unthinkable just a few decades ago. People all around the world including IT support companies in Orange County have devoted their whole careers to it. Unfortunately, there are millions of Internet users all across the world who are untrustworthy and are seeking to steal the data of complete strangers such as yourself. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a tool invented to combat the issue of a hacker figuring out your password. If someone has the password to your bank account or even your personal social media and knows where you live, they can even use a VPN to disguise themselves as you just logging into the accounts in the comfort of your own home. It goes without saying that this would be a nightmare for you. What if the hacker tries to open a new credit card in your name or make embarrassing posts claiming things about you that are untrue? That is where two-factor authentication comes in.

Normally how it works is whenever you log into the account, you will also need to confirm it is really you logging in by providing a code or clicking on a screen from a device you own, such as a computer, tablet, or smartphone. There are a variety of types of two-factor authorizations:

  • Biometrics
  • Hardware tokens
  • One-time passwords
  • SMS verification
  • QR codes
  • Verification codes

2FA has become much more predominant in recent years. In fact, a study conducted by Duo found that only 28% reportedly used it in 2017, that number grew to 78% in 2021, with the SMS method being the most popular. Unfortunately, SMS verification is not the most secure method of 2FA when it comes to the best IT solutions in Orange County. There are multiple methods that can be used to bypass it, including phishing and SIM swapping. Physical security keys are considered the best, however, many people may not love the idea of having to pay for a key or two and needing to have it on them.

While it may sound tedious, getting some form for 2FA for your most important accounts is a good idea. This is especially true if you have password managers such as LastPass or Dashlane. What would happen if someone not only had access to one important account but all of them? Now, one major downside of this system is that if you need to log into an account and you don’t have your alternative device on you or it is broken, then you just may be out of luck. This is why it is a good idea to have more than one 2FA method if you can, such as keeping a list of verification codes on you in a secure area.

If you need additional assistance learning how to use 2FA, go ahead and reach out to us at Newport Computer Group, one of the leading IT support companies in Orange County. We are happy to help you with any questions you may have about your computer, so don’t feel that any trouble with isn’t worth seeking assistance for. Remember: you will never know if you don’t ask! 


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