What is Two-Factor Authentication? – How to use the 2FA on any account
Account highjackers seem not to be tried on stealing peoples’ account information. The rate at which online accounts are been hacked is ridiculous. No matter how strong and long or lengthen password may be, any account without a Two-Factor Authentication is pronto hacking.
A few months back, my wife’s Facebook account was hacked and the thief was busy posting scam messages to her followers. Her phone number and email address were first changed, and the hacker edited her login details and password also to enable him to get full control.
And that was how my wife lost that account. Sincerely she never had the Two-Factor Authentication enabled in her account so it was prone to hacking.
Then geuss what I did?
I had to login to my Facebook account to enable the 2FA feature, and she (my wife) did the same too on her newly created Facebook account. So the accounts are secured now!.
The scenario made us understand that creating an extra layer of security is good and important. This is why I have made this page to educate you on how to use the Two-Factor Authentication on any accounts online.
These days, every websites and account now adopting the Two-Factor Authentication method to increase security, and of a truth, the 2FA has almost stopped these hackers because of the processes involved.
What is the Meaning of “Two-Factor Authentication”?
Two Factor Authentication enables you to require a unique one-time-use code with each login to any online accounts, dramatically increasing the security of your account.
About The 2FA Code
The 2FA works in addition to your account login credentials. For instance if someone steals your login details, they can’t get into your accounts without passing through the 2FA.
Also, if you’ve lost your password, you can always resort to a backup method of two-factor authentication.
Two-Factor Authentication Examples
We have various Two-Factor Authentication examples all depends which one you prefer to use.
- SMS Two-Factor Authentication
- Email Two-Factor Authentication
- Two-Factor Authentication Apps
- Two-Factor Authentication Device
The Two-Factor Authentication By SMS
SMS 2FA is the oldest of it all. Before now, accounts request for users phone number not only for account password retrieval but also to add an extra login security layer on the account.
The SMS 2FA is secured until the hacker have access to your phone and enable to read your SMS.
How to use the SMS 2FA
Make sure the account has or enables the SMS two-factor Authentication, and make sure it is enabled, then add your phone number. Make sure the number is correcly imputted.
Now the platform will request that they will send a verification Key via SMS which you will provide on the platform to successfully add and enable SMS 2FA feature.
This now means that you will always receive an SMS with a special code to login to that account in question.
Two-Factor Authentication by Email
This is also almost like the SMS 2FA, here, the account platform in question sends you a code to go do your final login. Though sometimes it can be a code or a link.
Once your email password is hacked, then your 2FA for email is compromised.
How to use the 2FA Email
Once you have created the account with your email, go to the platform settings or security settings and make sure it is enabled. Some platforms may request you provide the email ID you want to use for your 2FA – after providing that, verification code will be sent to that email.
Then enter the code on the platform account in question to complete the additional security layer.
App Two-Factor Authentication
This is the most used and secured authentication methods. The app automatically generates login codes after it’s linked with the account. There are various apps to use for the 2FA code generator but will be listing the popular once and brief details about them.
These are top two 2fa authentication mobile app I would recommend for anyone to use;
- Google’s Two factor authentication app
- Duo mobile app 2FA authentication
But among both, I prefer the Duo mobile app 2FA authentication because I am able to import or retrieve my linked accounts whenever I change phone or delete the app. Unlike the Two factor authentication Google, I don’t get my linked accounts.
Deo 2FA authenticator has an option to enter email, and once an email is connected, even when app is deleted and re-installed – connect with the same email get all account backups.
Despite that I mentioned why I prefered Duo authenticator app, Google and Duo app are still the best two-factor authentification app you can comfortably use without issue and the generated keys work well without issues.
I tried Microsoft authentication app for my Facebook account bout after the linking, the 2fa authentication codes generated couldn’t still let me complete my login process, So I had to use the Duo app
If I guess correctly, the next questions will be; how does google authenticator work, right?
Let’s head there now…
How to use the 2FA App
- Make sure that you have already enabled the “Two-Factor Authentication” feature on the account you want to add an additional security layer. That should be the first step.
- Then download any of the 2FA app listed below.
- Launch the app, and complete or skip the tour/guide screen.
- Go back to your account you want to protect to get the connection code or scan the SQ code directly from your mobile app.
- Once is connected, you will see the name of the account appears on your app with 30seconds automated generated code that your account will request for, to successfully approve the app for that account.
Please note that the steps might also change a bit, depending on the account you are creating the 2FA for.
Download the Two-Factor Authentication App
Two-Factor Authentication Hardware Devices
The Hardware-based two-factor authentication is used for online account protection. While robust passwords go a long way to securing your valuable online accounts, hardware-based two-factor authentication takes that security to a greater next level.
The Hardware-based 2FA authentication devices are available in a variety of formats, ranging from USB-A and USB-C, Lightning for iPhone users, and even keys that use Bluetooth.
List of top 2FA Hardware Devices
- Yubico YubiKey 5 NFC – Probably the best all-round security key
- Yubico Yubikey 5C – Good choice for Mac users
- Yubico YubiKey 5 Nano – Tiny security key is tiny! No bigger than a fingernail, and it fits discreetly into a USB-A port.
- CryptoTrust OnlyKey – Security key with built-in PIN code keypad
- Thetis Fido U2F Security Key – A security key that looks like a flash drive
- Thetis FIDO U2F Security Key with Bluetooth – Convenience of USB-A and Bluetooth in a single package
- Google Titan Security Keys – Google offers a range of keys at a decent price
- Kensington Verimark Fingerprint Key – Convenience of using your fingerprint unlock devices
You can buy any of the listed two-factor authenticator hardware from Amazon online shopping.
How to use the device for 2FA
All hardware security keys tend to work the same, as we’ve detailed above, but setting them up varies by app and device. The platform you want to use it on will provide you with their steps to follow.
Please note, before investing in buying any 2FA Hardware device ensure that your most-used online accounts and even your devices support security keys.
Almost every online accounts now have the 2FA to irradicate and stop the highjackers. Even if your password is so scrambled or long – you still have to ensure using the Two-Factor Authentication to add more layer of security.
Some accounts even allows users to enable more than one 2FA feature to enable more alternative logging in. Which is good, and you can enable them if you have all it takes to use it. Personally My wife and I uses SMS, Email and App 2FA.
And make sure you keep your devices, including your phones safe from evil people.
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