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Two Factor Authentication

The days of using simple passwords and expecting security and is over. With security issues like the heartbleed vulnerability that has challenged the foundations of security on the internet more recently. Computer security issues can crush any size business in the matter of minutes, yet we allow ourselves to use the same password for everything. Then we get email blasts about hacked accounts, stolen laptops, and resetting passwords more often than anyone cares to ever to get in their inbox. Two Factor Authentication can help you maintain access to your online account by verifying you are really who you say you are in the vast outreaches of the internet.

What is two-factor authentication?

This type of security is already in use in our daily lives. Our debit card is a basic example of two-factor authentication. When you physically run your card the number and CVV code are transmitted for your first authentication then your second authentication is done with your personal pin. Yet another example we see in finance is using RSA tokens for wire transfers. The bank sends you an RSA token generator keychain and gives you a login for their wire transfer interface. Without the login and token the bank won’t process the wire transfer. So lets see how we can better protect all our online accounts not just the financial ones.

Use the tools developers give us.

We are creatures of habit when it comes to passwords, and that habit has a pattern that repeats and it easy for someone to catch on. I recommend using password tools like 1Password to generate new passwords for you and store them and secure them with only one password for you to remember. This behavior along with two factor authentication will better secure your online presence.

If setting up two factor authentication is an option, which I recommend, just make sure you read and keep any backup passwords, your email updated, and your mobile number up-to-date. Without the code via text message or use of an app you will lock yourself out of the account, so you need to make sure you have some options for recovery.

Learn more about Two Factor Authentication has a very organized list of sites offering Two Factor Authentication.

Wikipedia has a lengthy article on multi-factor authentication that includes how one might be hacked.

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