Two-factor authentication (2FA) and how it can help

In our ever-growing online world, many of us have scores of digital accounts that link us to our devices, apps, streaming services, banking, investing, and so much more. Every week, we’re asked to log in, sign up and register for a new platform that will keep us in touch with the virtual world around us.

After a recent research rabbit hole, I updated myself on all things TFA, two-factor authentication (or 2FA), and found a few interesting titbits of information to share with you.

As I read on Investopedia, 2FA is a type of multi-factor authentication (MFA) that requires two distinct forms of identification to verify your identity and allow you access to something. These factors can include something you know — like a username and password — plus something you have — like a smartphone app — to approve authentication requests.

So, you’ve probably been engaging with 2FA for quite some time already but have not really known what it was called or how to start intentionally engaging with it as a security feature.

2FA protects against phishing, social engineering and password brute-force attacks and secures your logins from attackers exploiting weak or stolen credentials.

The demand for 2FA has grown as businesses, governments, and the public recognise that passwords are often not secure enough to protect user accounts in the current online landscape. We read that the average cost of data breaches today is over two trillion dollars annually.

Two-step verification is more secure than password protection alone. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is even more robust, which requires more than two factors before a provider can grant account access.

MFA can include inherence factors (like fingerprint scanning), location factors, time factors (like when you should typically be logging in) and knowledge factors (asking questions to which only you would know the answer).

Ultimately, with us trusting more and more of our identity and wealth to online platforms, it’s essential to remain as safe and savvy as possible.

At Northern Cross, we follow strict compliance regulations and continually attend professional development training that keeps us at the sharpest edge of our profession. If you’re ever worried about your online safety, give us a buzz, and we’ll see if we can help!

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