You know that using a strong password is the best way to keep your accounts safe, but some companies make it harder than it needs to be. And I’m not talking about companies that make you change your password every 30 days or force you to use special characters and numbers. Instead, I mean companies that still don’t offer multi-factor authentication (MFA). The good news? Multi-factor authentication isn’t just for big corporations anymore — even smaller businesses are starting to implement it (and should). Here’s why:
Insecure logins are an easy target for hackers.
The biggest threat to your security is the password. It’s easy to use, and it makes you feel safe. But really, that’s just what hackers want you to think. Passwords are insecure because they’re simple and easy to crack; a hacker can get into your accounts by stealing or guessing your login details with relative ease. If a hacker gets past the first level of authentication—your username/email address and password—they’ll be able to access all kinds of sensitive information about you: credit card numbers, bank account information, medical records…you name it!
In addition to having no protection from malware or phishing scams (which are designed specifically for stealing passwords), using an outdated username/email combination is also more likely than not going to put those same credentials at risk for being stolen by someone else who has already found out about them (i.e., another website). In fact, any time someone uses an old username/password combination on multiple websites without updating their info after changing anything important in their lives (like birthdays), they’re opening themselves up for major security issues if one site gets hacked while they haven’t changed all others yet too.”
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an effective way to protect your login details.
- MFA is an additional layer of security for your accounts.
- MFA protects you from phishing attacks.
- MFA can help prevent brute force attacks.
How does multi-factor authentication work?
Multi-factor authentication is a way to add an extra layer of security to your login process. This means that in addition to providing your username and password, you will also need to provide one or more pieces of personal information that only you would know.
MFA can be implemented in many different ways, such as:
- A text message sent directly from the website/service (not recommended anymore)
- An email sent by the website/service
- A random code generated by an app on your phone (e.g., Google Authenticator)
Multi-factor authentication is easy to implement.
Setting up multi-factor authentication is easy. Simply download the Google Authenticator app on your phone and follow the prompts to create an account. After entering a code from your app, you’ll then be prompted with another six-digit security code that changes every 30 seconds.
How do I use it?
Once you have two-factor authentication enabled on your account, every time you sign in from a new device or location, you’ll be required to enter a verification code generated by Google Authenticator (or any other compatible app) before you can gain access to Gmail or other Google services where you may have saved sensitive information like credit card data or social security numbers. It adds an extra layer of security so hackers can’t access their targets’ accounts even if they have their passwords compromised; however these apps aren’t perfect either so don’t rely solely on them when securing sensitive information online!
Don’t rely on SMS for MFA.
SMS messages can be intercepted, faked and blocked. If you rely on SMS to verify your identity, then an attacker could steal your password and use it to change their SIM card with the same number. They can also intercept the MFA message before it reaches you, so if they get hold of a list of phone numbers that are being targeted by hackers or phishing attempts, they may be able to intercept any messages sent as part of this attack.
You might think that since we’re talking about multi-factor authentication here that at least two factors are required (i.e., something you know plus something you have). However, according to Verizon’s data breach report from 2018 “26% of incidents involved social engineering tactics.” In other words: people getting tricked into doing something they shouldn’t because someone has convinced them there’s no reason not to do it. That means SMS authentication is potentially vulnerable in these situations too because someone could call up an employee on the phone and convince them there’s no reason not to click on a link or open an attachment—and then once inside your network/company accounts/etc., start wreaking havoc without having any idea how they got in!
Use physical devices for MFA.
Use physical devices for MFA. While software tokens can be convenient, they have a serious security flaw: they don’t require you to have your phone or computer in hand when you’re logging in. This makes it possible for hackers to try and brute force their way into your account by using a keylogger on your computer while you’re at work or school, or by simply stealing your device and trying to log in when they get the chance. For added protection, use a hardware token like an RSA SecurID key fob (available at many retailers) or Yubikey 4 USB dongle that generates random numbers every 15 seconds—one of which is required each time you log in. It’s also important to keep these devices physically secure so that no one has access to them except yourself!
Myths about multi-factor authentication.
- Myth: Multi-factor authentication is a replacement for using strong passwords.
Fact: While you can set up multi-factor authentication to replace your password, it’s not a universal replacement. Using two-factor authentication isn’t enough if you don’t have strong passwords or if you use weak ones. Instead of relying on MFA as your only line of defense against unauthorized access, use multifactor as an additional layer that strengthens your overall security.
- Myth: Multi-factor authentication is not necessary if I already have VPN protection in place.
Fact: While VPNs may be able to keep some intruders out, they aren’t bulletproof and don’t protect users from all threats — including those who attempt social engineering tactics like phishing emails or websites designed to trick users into disclosing their credentials (also known as “spear phishing”). By combining multiple layers of protection with MFA, businesses can better shield themselves against attacks involving these methods and others alike.
If you want to keep your accounts secure, learn more about implementing multi-factor authentication right now.
If you want to keep your accounts secure, learn more about implementing multi-factor authentication right now. MFA is a good way to protect your accounts and make sure that no one has access to them with the exception of authorized users. It’s easy to implement and can be used by anyone who cares about keeping their online accounts safe from hackers. If you’re interested in learning more about how MFA works, we’ve got all the details below!
I hope that this guide has helped you understand the importance of multi-factor authentication and why you should consider implementing it in your own life. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of the security options out there, but when it comes down to it, MFA is a great way to protect yourself from hackers who are trying every trick in their book. It’s also worth noting that SMS-based authentication isn’t as secure as other types of multi-factor authentication methods like hardware tokens or software apps on smartphones. I strongly encourage everyone reading this article to look into setting up two-factor authentication on any accounts they care about keeping safe!