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Free Security Tools #2: Two Factor Authentication

6-Dec-2017

 

Two factor authentication (2FA) is a security system which helps improve the security of online systems like e-mail systems, online control panels, or remote access to company networks.

 

It works by asking you for an extra piece of information as well as your username and password when you log into your account.  

 

The extra information is often a numeric code, which can be sent to your mobile phone by text message, generated by a special app on your smartphone, or in some cases generated by a dedicated device like a keyfob.

 

The extra piece of information increases security because by proving the person logging in has access to your phone or keyfob as well as your username and password, it's more likely that person is actually you!

 

This makes it much more difficult for someone to log into your account fraudulently if they have somehow obtained your username and password. 

 

How do I use 2FA?
All the major online services offer some form of 2FA protection now.   For the major online services, there are usually two main ways to use it:

 

1. Download one of the "authenticator" apps.  Which one depends on:

  • which service you're using 2FA with (some services require a particular app)

  • your personal preference

These apps need a smartphone (Android or Apple), and are free to download and use.


2. If you don't want to use one of the authenticator apps, or can't because you don't have a smartphone, then many services allow you to have a code sent to your phone via SMS (text message).

 

How do I set up 2FA on well known online services?

We've compiled a list of well known online services and how to set up 2FA for each of them.  We'll add to this list over time:

 

And for some more technical services:

Where do I get the authenticator apps?

 

Google Authenticator: 

Microsoft Authenticator:

LastPass Authenticator:

 

if you would like to find out more about Two Factor Authentication and how to implement it in your business, please contact us.

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