What is Two-Factor Authentication? This is a security layer that is needful for all online accounts to avoid anyone having access to your account. Although, a lot of people have to come to the terms that two-factor authentication is very essential to their account including WhatsApp, Facebook, Gmail, etc. This will add extra security to your account against hackers and fraudsters. In this article let’s see more on this topic What is Two-Factor Authentication? And how does it work?
What is Two-Factor Authentication?
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) is a security feature that gives another form of protection to your account. After you have used a username and password, two-factor authentication still requires a verification code. This can come via email, text, or through a third-party app. It is known as two-step authentication or two-step verification with a shortcode (2FA).
It is also defined as an authentication process where two or three recognized factors are used to identify a user. Using these features:
- Something you are – that is your fingerprint, iris patterns, voiceprints, or similar
- Something you know –it’s usually a password, passcode, passphrase or PIN.
- Things you have – a cryptography smart card or token, an RSA SecurID-style token with rotating digits or a Chip-enabled bank card.
How Does Two-Factor Authentication Work?
The Two-Factor Authentication work by demand when the two-Factor Authentication code you choose rightly enters when demand before getting access to a system or website or account online. When you log in to a website, you will have to sign in with your username and password. Once you key in your details, you will be allowed access to your account. It’s simple yet not fully secured. Two-Factor Authentication enables you to secure your login with a second code you need to obtain before you will log in.
Recently, social media sites including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn have different types of two-factor authentication. A lot of them use SMS code verification. This is where in addition to correctly keying in your password, you must also input the numeric passcode sent to your mobile phone via SMS rightly.
However, some services allow you to use an authenticator app in addition to your password which presents you with a different numeric one-time password (OTP) for each service that you have registered with the app. Both Google and Windows make these apps freely available in various stores.
Steps to use Two-Factor Authentication
These are steps to Use Two-Factor Authentication when you have set it up:
- Open the app or get to the website you want to use
- Key in your Username and Password
- You will be prompted to input or generate a 2FA code
- Immediately you enter the right 2FA code, you will be allowed access to your account.
Benefits of a Two-Factor Authentication
If you don’t have a code for your account you will not be allowed entry. It is adding an additional layer of security to your account. It helps to secure your account making it more secure than using just a username and password. The code has limited time to use it before it expires. Once it’s expired, you will have to request another one. If eventually, the hacker has your password or username, without the ability to get an associated 2FA code, they cannot access your account.
Getting Verification Codes
There are two different methods of getting a verification code and they are as follows :
- Through SMS texts to your Android or iOS device
- Through a Specialized 2FA mobile application, such as Authy or Google Authenticator. Below is how the codes work;
- Enable 2FA authentication for your online account
- Select the method of 2FA you’d like to use if applicable some accounts are given one option.
- In case you choose the authenticator app method, you need to add this account to it. When you need a code, get to the app and enter the number listed under this account. Codes are automatically generated after a specific time interval.
- If you choose the SMS text pattern, you will need to link your account with a phone number. Whenever you log into an account, you will need to get a generated code, which you’ll receive via text message.
However, between the two methods, the app is the most reliable for receiving verification codes. Hackers when they get your username and password with your phone number, they can use specific tools to intercept the transmission of the SMS 2FA code and then use it to gain access to your account. This is why the app route is preferable.