What is 2FA and why you should really be using it

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Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, is a type of multi-layer security that uses something you know (for example, your password) combined with something you have (for example, your phone) to let you into a system.

The reason it’s such a useful process is that it can bolster the security that a password alone can achieve. Which is not to say that you can have a rubbish password – but, it can help make your all-important information and accounts.

If you’re interested in learning more about password management in addition to 2FA, check out our LastPass article.

Normal account security

The majority of accounts you have will likely have a username (perhaps something you’ve chosen, or your email address) and a password (something you should have memorised and definitely shouldn’t be anything like Password123). This level of protection is ok, but it’s probably not enough anymore.

As we live in an ever more connected world, if one of your accounts were to become compromised, it could cause many more complications. Especially if that account were, say, your email account.

If that account were to be compromised, then it’s possible for your domain name, website, online storage, social media and a variety of other accounts to become accessed without your permission (and sometimes, without your knowledge).

What equipment/tools do you need to use 2FA?

So remember, this additional layer of security is based on something you have with you. One popular way is to install the Google Authenticator app on your phone.

After adding your specific account (it doesn’t have to be a Google account, many different services support the Google Authenticator) to the app, a PIN will be generated for you. Every 30 seconds, this code will change which keeps the account extremely secure.

All of our accounts here at Hypestar are secured with a form of 2FA – whether using this form of the app, or a physical key. A Yubikey is a USB device that you can pop into the USB port of your laptop, press a button on the key and bingo, the key authenticates your login attempt and you’re through. More importantly, if someone else is trying to access your account – they won’t be able to proceed beyond this point.

Essentially, the app and key work the same way, adding an additional layer of protection – which can serve to give you peace of mind – give your customers confidence that you take the protection of the data serious – and of course related to that, that you’re taking your GDPR compliance seriously.

If you’d like to learn more about USB keys, check out – what is a USB key?

Our website here at Hypestar is secured with multiple layers of security and 2FA is one of those. It can’t guarantee that no one’s going to try and do anything naughty – but it can make it a lot harder.

Installing Google Authenticator on your mobile device

The app is free to install and use, so grab the link that is relevant to your device and get securing your accounts.

Facebook (and frankly, most websites these days support this) also supports 2FA. So have a browse through the security section of your profile on Facebook (or jump straight to the section with the button below).

Twitter’s also an easy-to-use 2FA feature that supports text messaging, apps and external keys.

This is really a no brainer to me. It’s completely free for many ways (for example, the app) and it adds such a simple (but effective layer) to your security. Did I miss anything that you love, do let me know in the comments…