The #LayerUp Field Guide: Financial

How to use two-factor authentication to protect your bank and financial accounts from identity theft.

My first job was bussing tables at a restaurant, and my hourly wage was less than what a current lunch special at a nationwide hamburger franchise costs. Regardless, it was my hard-earned check that I carefully took to the bank each week.

Direct deposit has simplified the payment process, but the vigilant watch over funds should remain the same. Enabling Two-Factor Authentication, or 2FA, creates an additional security measure to keep your funds and other financial information safe.

Nearly every major bank app or website offers two-factor authentication, but it’s up to you to turn it on. In this tutorial we’ll cover the three most popular American banks: Wells Fargo, Chase, and Bank of America.

If you’d like to find tutorials for other banks or financial services, the website Turn on 2FA has excellent, comprehensive instructions.

Keep reading to see how to strengthen account security for three of the major banking services!

Wells Fargo

After signing in to your account, the first step in setting up your Two-Factor Authentication, or 2FA, will be to go to your account home page. There will have a “More” button in the upper right-hand corner, next to the hamburger menu button. Clicking that will open a drop-down menu. Select “Account Settings,” then “Manage Alerts.”

This is where you can manage a variety of alerts as well as link a phone number to your account. Occasionally Wells Fargo will register something that might be fraudulent and will ask you to submit a confirmation phone number. After receiving a code through text or phone call, you’ll be able to submit the code into the box, confirming the request or purchase.

Here’s a three-step summary:

1. From your account home page, navigate to the Manage Alerts.

2. Link a phone number to your account to manage alerts, including sign-on authentication.

3. After receiving a code, enter it into the prompt box.

Visit to learn more ways to strengthen your accounts. Or, if you want to take more action, take a security pledge!

Chase Bank

Chase Bank has built-in Two Factor Authentication, or 2FA. It’s set up so when you login to your account on a device that you haven’t used before, you’ll be prompted to enter a verification code.

After you’ve entered your username and password to login, a screen will come up notifying you that your account isn’t recognized on the device you’re using. You’ll be guided through the steps to ensure your identity.

First, you’ll select the method which you’ll receive a confirmation code, either by text, phone call, or email. You’re also given the option to call Chase Bank to get a temporary identification code. If this option is selected, there will still be questions to prove identity.

Then, after you’ve received the confirmation code, enter it in to the box provided. You’ll be asked to re-enter the password, and then you’re able to access your account.

Here’s a three-step summary:

1. Since Chase Bank already has built-in 2FA, you’ll only be asked to submit a confirmation code when logging in to an unrecognized device.

2. After you’ve logged in, select the method you want to receive the confirmation code.

3. Enter the code in the box provided, and re-enter your password for account access.

To learn more ways to enable security, or to take an online pledge, visit!

Like what you read? Give Kirsten Forsberg a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.