Two Factor Authentication
Two factor authentication, two-step verification and multi factor authentication or any combination of the terms means simply that passwords alone are not enough security. Indeed, they never were enough. There are plenty of examples of passwords being hacked, something more was needed.
Two factor authentication (2FA), what is it?
Multi factor authentication is a means of verifying a computer users identification and can generally form two of the following components.
- Knows something: Particular knowledge only known by the user such as a PIN, Password etc.
- Has something: A physical object such as a key, card or USB stick etc.
- Is something: A physical characteristic of the user like fingerprints, eye, voice or face recognition etc.
- Is somewhere: At a verifiable location on a particular network, a device or GPS location.
Why two factor authentication (2FA)?
The most common two factor authentication protocols you are likely to come across.
The most common forms of two factor authentication are a combination of:
- Username or email address: Something known.
- Password or pin: Something known.
- A generated code: Received by email, SMS or a third party authenticator application.
- As you may of noticed, keeping your username unknown ( do not tick that ‘remember me box’ ) adds another layer of authentication.
- If you are logging onto a computer or laptop and the third party authenticator app is on your mobile, it adds a ‘has something’ layer.
The most common two factor authentication third party authenticator application.
Google Authenticator is a free security app that can protect your accounts against password theft.
It works on for Android, iPhone, or BlackBerry.
It also works offline.
A guide on how to set up and use the app here: