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Stay Safe with Two Factor Authentication

Posted on 29th January 2019

 Trust me when I say, you need to enable Two Factor Authentication (2FA) on everything that holds any form of important information. Whether that is your Facebook account, your company email account, your bank logins, anything that holds any sensitive information. Most online services nowadays, like Office 365 and Gmail, have 2FA built in as a free feature.

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What is Two Factor Authentication?

Traditionally when logging in to your accounts you will be asked to enter your username/email and your password. 2FA is an additional password that you will need to enter as well. These passwords can be sent to your phone as a text message, as a code generated from an app on your phone or either a phone call that tells you the code to enter. Every time you log in to your account, the code will change, so you will never have the same code twice. 

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The benefit of 2FA is if someone was to get hold of your account details, username and password, they wouldn’t be able to get in as they don’t have the 2FA information. If I was someone who was trying to access your account, I would type in the email address I know you from and then try the 'forgot my password' link. Some websites will ask you to answer 2 or 3 personal questions like what university you went to, what school did you go to and your dogs name. All this information could easily be found on your social media profiles. If I then gain accessed to your email account, I'd then be able to access other accounts using the same email address. 

With 2FA enable, I can enter your username and try and recover your password, but I would then be asked for the 2FA and without that I can't go any further. It is more that likely that you would then receive a text message stating that someone has tried to login to your account. As soon as you see this message you should change your password, even if you are 100% sure that no one other than yourself knows the password. Change it, just to be on the safe side.

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As mentioned before there is an app you can download called Authy. Authy is great for managing multiple 2FA accounts. There are versions for all platforms, Mac, Windows, iPhone, Android and more, and they all stay in sync. If you added an account on your iPhone, the account shows up on your Windows PC. This saves you the hassle of either losing or replacing your phone and having to re-set up all of your 2FA logins.

 Cyber Security Check