What is Multifactor Authentication (MFA)?

How Multi-Factor Authentication Works?

When you need more than one factor to authenticate for access to an online account, it is called multi-factor authentication.

Verification Codes

Verification codes are sent to your registered email address and/or phone number to authorize your access to accounts. Without the correct verification code, you will not be able to access the account, even though you have the correct username and password. The verification code provides an additional layer of security and completes the 2FA process.

Authenticator Apps

Authenticator apps are usually installed on a smartphone and generate a 6–8-digit passcode every 30 seconds. The passcodes are generated from a secret code that is shared between the service you are using and your device. The passcode is requested shortly after successfully logging in with a username and password. Without the authentication passcode, you will not be able to access the account, even though you have the correct username and password. Some commonly used third-party authenticator apps include Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, Authy, and LastPass Authenticator.

Security Tokens

Security tokens add a possession factor to the layer of security for your online accounts. These can be physical USB keys that have to be connected to the computer to authorize your login. Since a physical theft has to occur to grab hold of your USB keys, you can be assured that your two-factor authentication with USB keys are reliable and safe from online attacks.

PINs

When you attempt to make a withdrawal from the ATM using your debit card, you’ll be required to enter a PIN. Without the correct PIN, you will not be able to make a withdrawal even though you have the debit card in your possession. This is also applicable for some online services where you can set a PIN that has to be entered after entering the password to grant access to the account. The PIN provides an additional layer of security in your 2FA setup.

Why Enabling Multi-Factor Authentication On All Your Accounts Is Crucial?

Let’s say that you don’t have multi-factor authentication (MFA) set up on your email account, and your password gets compromised. Without the added layer(s) of security, anyone with the password to your email account can gain access and possibly obtain sensitive personal information. Just think of how horrible it would be if someone was able to gain access to your online banking account details or social media credentials. Enabling multi-factor authentication on all your accounts can protect you from getting hacked.

How to Enable Multi-Factor Authentication On Your Accounts?

I have provided some links to assist you in setting up multi-factor authentication (MFA) on a few popular services.

Conclusion

Multi-factor authentication is a bit of an extra hassle and can even be frustrating at times. But that doesn’t take away the fact that it is one of the best ways to keep your private information secure and safe from the prying eyes of hackers and cybercriminals.

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Information Technology (IT) Businessman and Influencer using experience to educate others on the importance of IT, leadership, and professional development.

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Kenneth Thomas

Kenneth Thomas

Information Technology (IT) Businessman and Influencer using experience to educate others on the importance of IT, leadership, and professional development.

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