Anyone who uses a smartphone or computer will regularly access password-protected websites and services, but few of us are opting to add a second level of verification beyond usernames and passwords. Rose Regina Lawrence from Tactical Tech encourages users to consider adding two-factor authentication, or 2FA, to their accounts.
There are a several forms of 2FA, from text message codes, to special mobile apps, to entirely separate devices called “authentication dongles.” Why are they important? While usernames and passwords can be guessed, inferred or otherwise illegally obtained, adding the second authentication factor makes unauthorized access far more difficult. Some websites and services you use may already offer this option, and if not, there are online listings that can tell you which do.
If you’ve never heard of or considered 2FA, you’re not alone. Lawrence finds that not enough has been done to “let people know what are small, easy things they can do to be assertive about their online safety and boundaries,” but hopes more users will begin taking steps to improve their online security.