Two-factor authentication has floated around the periphery of cybersecurity measures for years. Companies were the first major adopters because they had a great deal to lose and lots of opportunities to lose it. But smartphones have also made it an easy security measure for individuals, too. When your password needs to be matched to a code that’s sent to a separate device, your account is a lot harder for unauthorized users to break into.
But it does create a small bit of inconvenience. Users can’t just log in with the passwords saved onto their browsers. They have to type in a unique code each time or, if they don’t have their phone with them, track down the phone. Here are three reasons why it’s definitely worth the hassle.
1. It’s easy to incorporate the basics.
Two-factor authentication used to be expensive and aggravating. When corporate users first rolled out the program, they had to carry a specially designed token that did nothing but create randomized codes. Typing in the password, requesting the code, and typing in the code within a set timeframe was the only way to open a secured file or gain access to a computer or account. If you lost the token on a business trip, there wasn’t much in the way of workarounds.
But now everything is much easier. Most two-factor authentication systems send a message to your phone, something you probably have on hand even if you’re reading this from a tablet or computer. Most authentication systems also give you an (inconvenient but ultimately doable) alternative method if you lost your phone.
Even better, most sites include it as an option. The next time you log into your bank, you can change the settings quickly and according to your preferences. Sites where two-factor authentication is incredibly important even prompt you to set it up.
2. The overwhelming majority of attacks won’t target you.
Most attackers aren’t attacking you personally, no matter how personal it feels. Instead, they’re releasing bots and programs to probe thousands or millions of individuals. If your security systems are locked up tight, those digital attacks will skip over you. Not only will you not even notice the attempt, but probes also won’t come back to try again later.
Data thieves aren’t after strangers with strong online security methods. They don’t care who they target as long as their getting the access, information, and, ultimately, money that they want. And there are far too many people who aren’t adhering to basic password and online safety for them to focus more resources on you.
3. Get more protection against fake sites.
One of the biggest threats that are growing for individuals and employees is phishing schemes. These are fake emails that pretend to be from banks, vacation sites, or even your employers and alert you about a fake, urgent event that you need to solve or sign up for right that instant.
Not only are these emails from fake accounts, they usually incorporate a link to a mirrored site. The express purpose of this is to gather your login credentials for their use later. The link you clicked has a unique code that links your name, email, and the phishing tactic that worked to your login and password. From there, programs can log in to the real site later and cause havoc in your accounts.
But a two-factor authentication blocks the process halfway through. A password isn’t enough to get all of the way through. In these circumstances, the best way to stay protected is to save the number of real institutions in your phone. If you receive an authentication from [Your Bank’s Name], you know you’re interacting with the real site. If you receive a code from a new number, you know to start investigating.
There are too many reasons to switch to two-factor authentication for you to risk putting it off. Go to IT Networks Australia Pty Ltd for more ways to secure your accounts and protect your information.