The first installment of Kellam's Tech Tips blog series focused on cybersecurity awareness and discussed the importance of strong passwords in protecting your sensitive information. However, as thieves employ more advanced tactics to decipher them, even strong passwords are becoming more vulnerable. Additional layers of protection are strongly recommended. That brings us to the topic of our third installment: two-factor authentication, or “2FA.”
2FA is an additional factor of authentication required to access an account. Many websites, such as Gmail, Facebook, Bank of America, and others, offer their own 2FA SMS (Short Message Service) option which can be activated in the security preferences of your account. SMS authentication sends a text message to your mobile device providing a code to be entered on the device you’re currently logging in from. Even in the case that someone does decipher your password, they will still be unable to gain access to your account without the code sent to your phone.
There are also third-party 2FA services (Google Authenticator, LastPass Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, or Yubico just to name a few) that, because they are software or hardware based, are more secure than SMS authentication. Implementing SMS 2FA provides more security than using only a password, but it is possible for hackers to intercept text messages if they have access to your mobile device.
As with other measures you take to increase security, researching what is available ensures that you get the most effective tool to meet your specific needs. Employing 2FA is an easy and free (depending on what method you use) step you can take to make certain your information is more secure. As always, if you have any questions about your security, please feel free to contact us.