Tuesday, 25 November 2014

2FA

Two Factor Authentication sounds almost the most boring subject in the world but this is all about protecting your online identify and digital content.

Today your email address and password is used for a lot of stuff. Whether you use Android, IOS, Windowsphone or something else many websites provide the ability to login with the ID and password for one of these services. In addition you may have bought digital products like music, games, videos etc using these ids. You also may have registered your credit card on these services for easy one-click shopping. It's easy and convenient to tie all this together with your email address. It is also a magnet for criminals, scammers and fraudsters. They want your card details or your identity to commit fraud and make money.

So your password is your first line of security. A lot of people use the same one for everything but are put off from remembering complex passwords. The easy way around this is to use a identity management application like Lastpass. Lastpass, along with other programs, can help manage complex passwords and provide extra levels of password security.

However this is not enough. Two factor authentication is a way that your service provider can give you a second layer of security. Typically this involves a single use code or pin. The code only lasts for a limited time and is requested everytime you log in unless the device you use is used 'frequently'. In this latter case you can allow a device not to need two factor authentication every time. However the normal procedure is after entering your password you will be asked to type in a code that is sent to a mobile phone that you have registered. You can also register an app or other programmable device to generate a single use code.

Security should not just be about big corporations looking after your data. It also means protecting your own data and 2FA helps you do that. I recommend this to everyone.

Links

Google Two Factor Authentication

Microsoft Two Factor Authentication

Apple Two Factor Authentication

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