What Is 2FA (two-factor authentication) and Why Is It Important?

photo credit: mit.edu

When discussing website security, you may have heard of the term two-factor authentication or 2-step verification, better known as 2FA. This is a very important process, and we’d like to take a second to cover it in full detail.

2FA requires two authentication components to verify a user’s identity. The idea is that an imposter would be unlikely to possess both pieces of information, thus adding a layer of security to a website, account, etc.

Some examples of these components include a tangible device that belongs to the user, a secret password known only to the user and a physical component of the user – or ‘something you have and something you know’. Have you ever signed up for an account online and they request to send a pin # to your cell phone as a text message? That is 2FA in the works!

Fortunately, numerous websites support 2FA. We’d need another blog post to list each and every one of them, but here are a few highlights:

  • Dropbox
  • Google Drive
  • American Express
  • Chase
  • Wells Fargo
  • Basecamp
  • GoDaddy
  • Gmail
  • Outlook
  • Yahoo Mail
  • Geico
  • Quickbooks Online
  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Target
  • Walmart
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

Check out the complete list online, or give us a call at 970-419-0602 if you have any questions about online security.