Imagine walking up to a cash machine and realizing you lost your ATM card. At first, you might break into a cold sweat. Then you realize that if the person that found your ATM card doesn’t know your PIN, the card is useless to them. Wouldn’t it be great if you could restrict access to all of your accounts this way? The good news is you can with Two Factor Authentication.
What is Two-Factor Authentication?
In the ATM scenario, your card is factor one, and your PIN is factor two. To gain access to your account, you must have the ATM card and know the PIN number. If you don’t have both factors, you won’t be able to access your account. The fact that you’re required to have 2 different factors makes it harder for people to gain access to sensitive information. You can also set up Two Factor Authentication for your personal devices. This will prevent people from accessing personal information on your computer and mobile devices. For example, many mobile devices are now offering the option of adding your thumbprint or facial recognition as another factor in addition to your password.
Types of Authentication Factors
1) Something that you know
This can be your password, a PIN code, your zip code, a code sent to you via SMS, or the answer to your security question.
2) Something that you have
This is a physical item such as your cell phone, key FOB, ID card or SIM card.
3) Something that’s unique to you
This factor is either your fingerprint, your voice, your face, a retina scan of your eye or your handwriting. Additionally, some systems can use time and location factors. These factors can detect if you are being hacked based on your location and login time.
Two Factor Authentication Will Give You Peace of Mind
Using Two Factor Authentication provides an extra layer of security to help keep your personal information safe. This technology is made available by many websites that house personal information such as social media sites, banking websites, email providers and more. You should also set it up for your home computer and smartphones. At work, a system like Okta can provide protection for all your applications under one umbrella, making it easier to securely log into your many business accounts.