By Dave Pagenkopf
Personal online security and privacy are often areas of our lives we would like to be more diligent about. Now is a great time to refresh our goals and tune up those areas! Don’t be overwhelmed… From August 1 – 10, I’m sharing ideas to tune up your personal privacy and computer security.
The third tip I’ll share with you is about Second Factor Authentication, also known as Two Factor Authentication or 2FA.
Second factor authentication is an additional step to protect your account from hackers. It has become increasingly easy for criminals (either in organized gangs or working alone) to gain access to a user’s private data such as personal and financial details and then use that information to commit fraudulent acts, generally of a financial nature. Using a Two Factor Authentication process can help to lower the number of cases of identity theft on the Internet, as well as phishing via email, because the criminal would need more than just the users name and password details.
Second factor authentication is a bit like exercise and vegetables. We know it is good for us, but for some reason we don’t use it. For example, Google supports second factor authentication for their products that when enabled requires the user to enter a special numerical code in addition to their password. It is a free service that Google offers to improve the security of user accounts.
More info here: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/1066447?hl=en
Many financial institutions allow you to set up second factor authentication through a smartphone app or even a text message to a mobile phone.
Once you enable second factor authentication on your critical accounts then a hacker — even if they have your username and password — won’t be able to log into your account.