Two-factor authentication, otherwise known as 2FA, has become mainstream in 2019 and offers some major benefits for helping to ensure your account security online.
We all know how important it is to have online security as we continue to host and share more information than ever via the Web. Many of us live our lives, so to speak, on mobile devices or laptops, so it should be no surprise that our online data is an increasingly large target for criminals.
Across the world, cybercrime is only going up. In mid-2018, The SSL Store reported that “cybercrime will generate at least $1.5 trillion this year”.
It’s 2019, and that number is only predicted to go up.
Preparedness is key in conserving your online security. While there isn’t much the common user can to do prevent such problems from occurring on a global scale, there are proactive measures that can be taken to address individual prevention.
As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, technological companies are making efforts to require more intricate security measures.
Business Insider reports that security incidents in 2018 affected companies like:
- Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen
- Best Buy
- Saks Fifth Avenue
- Lord & Taylor
- Under Armour’s MyFitnessPal App
- Panera Bread
- Whole Foods
- and more …
These reportings of cybercrime are certainly jarring, but unsurprising looking at the modern climate of our digital world.
From a user’s perspective, identify theft is a looming threat and is nothing to be taken lightly.
Apps and websites continue to offer better security as a result.
The best way for users to do their part in protecting their online account information is to go above and beyond simply setting just a password, and setting up two-factor authentication.
You may still be getting “It’s time to reset your password” reminders from your banks, social media platforms, favorite retailers, etc., and while setting a password may have been enough in the past, this method of protection is now becoming outdated.
It’s likely you have many online accounts that require passwords. Do you really know them all off hand? If not or maybe even if so, where are you storing logs of your passwords, and is that information being protected?
These are all key considerations when it comes to online security.
Even by setting up more complex passwords, most users tend to go back to having the same one across accounts after forgetting their complex ones.
This is wildly problematic and is where two-factor authentication becomes especially useful.
After entering a username and password, users are directed to screens asking them to verify themselves. This may be with another password, PIN number, answer to a specific pattern, or a unique keystroke pattern.
This helps the system they’re logging in to, to protect their information and prevent them from suffering the effects of cyber attacks.
Whenever possible, it is highly recommended you set up two-factor authentication on your accounts.
Two-factor authentication often requires the user to verify themselves with materials they will have on them, such as a driver’s license number, credit card number, etc. More advanced platforms may also offer the user the ability to scan their fingerprint to verify they are who they say they are with the power of biometrics.
Another common type of two-factor authentication will send a verification code via SMS or email to the user for them to enter in the platform’s field. Push notifications are also becoming more popular.
In the event that you lose your phone or account information in a data breach, having two-factor authentication set up will help you keep your identity and data safe.
Now, you can discover which websites support two-factor authentication via twofactorauth.org.
Be aware of your accounts’ security components, and take advantage of them today to protect your information from a data breach tomorrow.
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Green, D. (2018, August 22). If you shopped at these 16 stores in the last year, your data might have been stolen. Retrieved January 2, 2019, from https://www.businessinsider.com/data-breaches-2018-4#arbys-16
- Nohe, P. (2018, September 27). 2018 Cybercrime Statistics: A closer look at the “Web of Profit”. Retrieved January 2, 2019, from https://www.thesslstore.com/blog/2018-cybercrime-statistics/