If you’ve ever logged into one of your social media accounts from an unknown computer, you may have had to go through a two-factor authentication process. With this process, you use something to prove that you are the person who truly owns the account. Often, the site texts a code to the phone number on file, which you then enter as part of the log-in process.
Usually, accounts give you the option to keep that authentication process or not. For that, many people turn it off because they see two-factor authentication as an unnecessary hassle. This is especially true if they’re frequently logging in and out of their accounts.
However, two-factor authentication, especially when done securely, can be a great–and yes, still time-efficient–way to keep your accounts safe. Here are three simple reasons why you should keep the two-factor authentication process active on your accounts.
1. It Makes It Harder for Hackers
If someone tries to hack your account, he or she wants an easy in. That’s why using one of the most popular passwords makes you more likely to be hacked. Two-factor authentication means that, even with less secure authentication methods such as SMS, the hacker has to find a way to guess your password and access your authentication method in order to get in.
If the hacker is a jaded ex, a suspicious partner, or just a hacker out for some easy money, the authentication method can make it so difficult that he or she just gives up.
It’s still possible for some authentication methods to be hacked. But the extra layer of difficulty is very helpful for your internet safety.
2. Authentication Can Be Very Secure
Some types of authentication have come under criticism as being too easy to hack. Many safety-minded people, including some governmental agencies, have moved away from SMS authentication and toward other types. Authentication takes many forms. Not all are codes sent to you by SMS or email.
One common form of authentication is the security question. Anyone can research the frequently used security questions. (Mother’s maiden name? City where you were born? etc.) However, many companies have introduced better questions, the answers to which only you would know. Some companies use apps to authenticate users, and some may even use USB dongles to do so. The more steps you have to go through to bypass two-factor authentication, the more secure it is.
3. It’s Not That Inconvenient
The main complaint about two-factor authentication is the amount of time it adds to the log-in process. After all, when you want to get in, you want to get in now.
But consider the amount of added security–and the peace of mind–you get by choosing the authentication route. Also consider how fast you can get a text with a code these days, or how simple it really is to remember the name of your first pet. It’s a matter of seconds.
It seems a highly equitable trade, in the grand scheme of things. And it seems like a relatively small price to pay to really take charge of your online security. Once you make two-factor authentication part of your log-in routine across the board, you may come to hardly notice the additional time at all.
There’s no completely foolproof way to avoid being hacked. But keeping two-factor authentication on is one of the best ways to keep hackers at bay.
Of course, two-factor authentication shouldn’t be your only form of internet safety. You should also use strong passwords, change passwords between sites, and make sure your phone and laptop are password-protected.
All-in-all, two-factor authentication can be a good stepping stone toward internet safety. Although it may seem annoying at first, it only takes a few extra steps. Isn’t it worth the extra few seconds to keep people from breaking into your accounts?
For more information about ways to keep your digital identity safer and more secure, read all about it on the PeopleFinders Blog.
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