Security breaches, security leaks, passwords leaks, stolen information, stolen identities. These subjects seem to be more and more present in the news in recent times. Although I wouldn’t necessarily trust all news and news sources and the slant they put on the news, there is nonetheless a situation here that seems to have worsened with time.
An alternate title for this article could be What’s “Two-Factor Authentication”?
In the simplest possible way, it could be defined as an access procedure that adds an additional step to the normal verification process. Abbreviated TFA or 2FA.
Although it might sound foreign to you, as a matter of fact you probably already use it to some degree or another. An example of it is using an ATM machine. To access your account you need two steps: 1) Have and swipe your ATM card and 2) enter the pin number for it.
By no means perfect or impenetrable, this method however does raise the fence, making it harder for hackers to get their dirty little hands on your information. Because of that, the method has gained popularity in recent times.
The possible credentials are a) something you know, such as a password or pin number, b) something you have, such as your ATM card or a phone and c) something you are, as in a fingerprint or any other similar bio-metric authentication. Two of these three are required in two-factor authentication.
For the regular user, if you come across the option to use it, I would recommend it, especially for things like online banking, and any online activity that you consider sensitive. It might save you from some future potential headaches.