Why you should always use Two-Factor Authentication

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What is two-factor authentication?

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a more secure way to access your account(s). It requires 2 things, something you know (your password) and something you have (your phone). After logging into your account, you will be asked to supply a unique code that was sent to your phone. If your code was sent via SMS, it usually resets after 30 minutes to an hour. If you use an app like Google Authenticator or Authy, it resets every 30 seconds. Think of it as like entering your PIN and then scanning your fingerprint. Passwords alone are super easy to crack, especially if you don’t use a password generator.

Where can I use it?

Fortunately, many sites have implemented two-factor authentication. For a complete list of services that have 2FA visit twofactorauth.org Here’s a list of popular sites that support 2FA:

  • Microsoft: When signing in at a new location/device, you’ll either get sent a code or a prompt from the Microsoft Authenticator app asking if this was actually you or not. Click here to enable it for your account.
  • Google: You’ll get a prompt asking for a code or to authorize the login from the Google app. You can choose to have your code sent via SMS or using the Google Authenticator App. You can enable it here.
  • Facebook: When signing in at a new location/device, you’ll get sent a 6 digit code. This can be sent through SMS, an app like Google Authenticator or using Facebook’s Code Generator. Click here to enable.
  • Twitter: You’ll get sent a code whenever you login at a new device/location, you can also set it up to require a code with every login. Enable it here.
  • Paypal: When signing in at a new location/device you’ll be prompted to enter the code that was sent to you. Click here to enable it.
  • Yahoo!: You will be sent a code whenever attempting to login at a new location or device. Enable it here.

What’s the difference between Google Authenticator and Authy?

Google Authenticator is just an app for your iOS or Android device. You can add as many accounts as you like, and it resets every 30 seconds.

Authy is an app for your iOS and Android device, but it also has programs for Mac and Windows as well. Making it extremely easy to copy and paste without having to leave your workstation. In my opinion, Authy is the best application to use. You can even secure it further with a master password.

Deciding to use 2FA is one of the most important steps you will take in securing your accounts and data. You should also be using a unique, secure password for every site.

I hope this article helped you make the decision to use two-factor authentication. If you have any questions or suggestions on what we should write next, leave em’ in the comments! Have a great day! :)