Over the years, problems associated with hacking attacks have become increasingly pressing, especially on online accounts. One of these biggest concerns with virtual accounts is the threat to security and data privacy. One research suggests that the increasing number of people using smartphones in 2021 has paved the way for these security breaches. Hence, the more people use smart devices, the more personal information gets easy to access on servers.
The good news is that many tech companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter have made available for their users an advanced tool to keep their accounts safe. If you use a computer or smart device, then two-factor authentication (2FA) is that extra protective layer you need for digital security.
What is 2-Step Verification/Two-Factor Authentication?
While most people think securing their virtual accounts with username and password will protect them from hackers, the sad truth is that it won’t. As the name implies, two-factor authentication adds a second layer of protection to your online accounts. How? When a user logs into the account, 2FA secures that account by requesting the user’s identity validation. This will prove the person attempting the log-in is you.
We all know there are high chances of online accounts being hacked even with complex passwords. So, in addition to your username and password, you will require a log-in authentication code usually sent to your device via text or email. Without this code, also known as a one-time password (OTP), it becomes impossible to access the account. Apart from the OTP, users can also use a mechanism like biometrics.
Why Use 2FA When I Have My Password?
In 2021, the rising number of security threats was constantly making headlines. Did you know that 80% of hacking-related breaches are due to compromised passwords? Every thirty-nine seconds, a smart device is hacked. In essence, virtually two smartphones or computers per minute are being hacked, and more than seventy records get stolen.
What does this mean? While passwords serve as basic security for your account, it may be futile to continue relying on them if it is easy for cybercriminals to get your data even with that layer of protection. Many tech companies have stated that the problem does not lie in creating passwords themselves, but with the little to no awareness of password security that usually leaves users susceptible to account breaches.
When your idea of a complex password falls shortly to “12345” or a nickname, then you’d better brace yourself for a huge cybersecurity breach. One issue with passwords is that they can be difficult to remember when you have multiple accounts to keep tabs on. This is why so many people prefer using simple-to-remember passwords for almost all their social media and online accounts. The downside of this is that they can be predictable.
Recent statistics from Google even show that about 65% of people use the same passwords across several online platforms. Hence, while easy-to-remember passwords are a major problem, the reuse of account credentials is also one alarming issue tied with passwords.
Apart from this, passwords are easily accessible to third parties making them highly prone to theft. Why? A lot of people find it convenient to store them in their emails, browser, or contacts making it easy for smart cybercriminals to extract account credentials from devices by hacking or phishing emails.
If this is the case, how do you protect your accounts from cybercrimes? Don’t leave your online accounts waiting for scammers to prey on. Here’s how to use two-factor authentication to secure your working accounts from security breaches in 2021.
Using Two-Factor Authentication as a Second-Level Security Defence in 2021
As a hosting provider, a low-level security defense could erode credibility while possibly exposing the company to a hefty fine. This is why, when it boils down to password-related security liabilities, many technology firms have made 2FA a leading tool to prevent security breaches.
Using two-factor authentication will help you prevent practical flaws related to conventional passwords as it does not require that you create a complex password, and neither are they saveable or sharable.
So, how do you use two-factor authentication in 2021 with ease? While there are various means of conducting your two-factor authentication, such as authenticator apps and push notifications, the two most common ways of using 2FA are through your OTP and Biometrics.
The most common of the 2FA tools, OTP, also known as One-Time Passcodes, helps you verify your account after entering your password. However, the verification process will require a passcode, which helps you access the account. This passcode is called the OTP.
One distinction between a one-time passcode and every other code is that it differs based on the means used in getting them. In most cases, you could receive these codes via email or text messages on a mobile number. It could also be possible to receive these codes using a USB device or an authentication app installed in your smartphone to generate them.
However, these passcodes usually last a short time. Some tech companies may allocate 60 seconds to each code, and once it exceeds this time, you will need to generate a new passcode as the former one will be invalid.
Though not frequently used nor as fast as the OTP, this 2FA method has gained popularity over the years. Using biometrics will require that you input physical features like face and voice recognition, iris scan, fingerprints, and many others onto your smart device. This authentication process is usually a lot more difficult to steal compared to conventional passwords.
However, it can be expensive to manage. This is why the high cost of biometrics 2FA has taken the backdrop in recent years. While it can be costly, it is the verification process you want to have in 2021, as even experts consider it one of the most powerful two-factor authentication tools today.
The digitalized world of today makes accessing personal data an easy feat. This is why protecting your credentials is necessary for 2021. Today, 2FA allows means like one-time passcodes and biometrics to give a robust defense from data threats. But, adding an extra layer of protection like the two-factor authentication will not only serve as a shield from possible security vulnerabilities but also keep your future safe.