Privacy Tip: What is Two-Factor Authentication & Why Enable It?

Graphic 3.FBv2Most accounts on the internet use a simple login credential system with a username and a password. Since usernames are often publicly visible, this leaves your account protected by only a password. While there are many ways hackers can gain access to your password, through data breaches and other means, Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) makes it almost impossible for hackers to break in.

Two-Factor Authentication adds an extra layer of security by linking your account to a physical device, typically your mobile phone. Whenever you log in, your phone is sent a unique, time-sensitive code to enter after the regular steps to access to your account. This verification code, accessed via text message, email message, or authentication app, adds a layer of account verification that a username and password combination simply cannot provide.

Enabling Two-Factor Authentication on your primary email account is a huge first step. Since you probably have a plethora of other accounts that use your email to confirm password changes, enabling Two-Factor Authentication on your email can help you protect your other accounts as well. But clearly, the more accounts you set up with 2FA, the better.

On Gmail accounts, you can enable Two-Factor Authentication by going into your Account settings and toggling it in the Security tab. On your mobile device, download the Google Authenticator App (or your preferred authenticator app, if you use DUO mobile or LastPass for other accounts.) To link your Google account to your mobile device, Google will present you with a QR code on your desktop, which you can capture in your authenticator app.

By adding another layer of physical user verification, you can keep most hackers from accessing your most sensitive accounts. We can’t recommend Two-Factor Authentication enough!

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