Data theft is a constant threat, and it’s only getting bigger. Ransomware cuts through company security to get either payouts or incidental data, and unsecured networks let malicious users take even more information. Even on the individual consumer’s side of data security, people are after your passwords and your information.
One of the best tools to keep people out of your accounts is with two-factor authentication. If you’re on the fence about it, here are two reasons why you should make it a priority:
1. Passwords are easy to guess, steal, or break.
We all know how to make a good password. It needs to be longer than eight alphanumeric characters (at a bare minimum, since sixteen is much better), it needs to include a symbol, and it shouldn’t include any personal details. In fact, if it’s not completely randomized gibberish, it’s a bad password.
But that’s not how people make their passwords. Everyone uses a key concept with a key (but hopefully unrelated) number and a random symbol. Security gurus know how bad people are at coming up with secure passwords, and that’s why there are numerous tips to make it slightly better. For example, string together two or three concepts instead of just one. Or don’t use significant dates.
Most people don’t follow these tips. Even if you do, it’s easy for someone to configure your password. Even worse, once a malicious user has cracked open one of your accounts, they can use your personal details to slowly wedge open the passwords you think only you understand the significance of.
Two-factor authentication gives you the added protection that knowing your password isn’t enough. Someone has to have your password and your secondary token to get into the account. While that second step isn’t impossible, any extra complication is enough to protect your account from most malware.
2. The more accounts you have, the more connected your login details are.
If you have just one password, you can put in the time and effort to both make it a good one and memorize it. But no one has just one device or one email, anymore. You have bank accounts, email accounts, credit cards, and streaming accounts. Practically every site that you regularly return to involves a login system now. But all of those accounts are naturally going to make you choose easier passwords and re-use those passwords. You don’t want to spend time typing in random strings of characters to finally land on the right password.
While the best solution is to use those hard passwords, anyway, two-factor authentication systems give you a bit of wiggle room. Your accounts’ security doesn’t wholly rely on the strength of your password.
But it’s not enough to just incorporate the strategy on your financial accounts, even if that’s where you’re most likely to start. You have to protect all of your emails, too. Every password reset request and security settings change request is sent straight to your inbox, so you have to protect it.
There are too many ways for malware and malicious online actors to find out your passwords. Not only can they break into company databases, but a widespread web of passive malware is just waiting for you to make a mistake. No matter how diligently you change your password or try to use unrelated concepts to scramble up your password, a password isn’t enough to keep unwanted eyes out.
So make a list of all of your accounts and start changing the security settings to have two-factor authentication. Whether you have an email sent to your account or you get a text, this additional step provides you with a lot of protection.
For more ways to secure your computer and online accounts, go to IT Networks Australia Pty Ltd.