Protect Your Accounts With Two-Factor Authentication

On September 5, 2012, in Uncategorized, by Social Media

Many consumers are worried nowadays about hackers. Slate.com ran a story recently discussing Matt Honan’s, a writer for Wired Magazine, experiences with being hacked. In August, Honan’s Apple account was hacked, and all of the data on his iPhone, iPad, and Macbook was deleted. Furthermore, the hacker deleted his Google account and hijacked his Twitter account, using it to post racist and obscene comments. Something this story puts into sharp focus is the fact that anyone can get hacked.


There is some good news though. There are several steps individuals might take to avoid the fate that Honan suffered. They can employ two-factor authentication.


Two-factor authentication


If you do not know what two-factor authentication is, then you are at risk of being hacked. What happens when you want to gain access to your online accounts? Usually, you need to simply enter your email address and a password, right? That's not good enough to deter skilled hackers today. With two-factor authentication, you have to also enter a code that is sent to you whenever you try to log onto one of your online accounts. This extra log-in credential could be the one thing stopping a hacker from getting into your accounts.


How it works


Google has enabled two-factor authentication for all of its accounts. It’s easy to use. If you own a smartphone, simply just download the app. Then when you log into your accounts you will type your password along with the password Google has provided you with.


If you don't own a smartphone, you are able to still use Google's two-factor authentication system. You can just wait for Google to send you a text or voicemail message containing the code you need to complete the login process.


Not widely used


Sad to say, as the Slate story mentions, a small number consumers are using two-factor authentication today. The reason? It's kind of of a hassle. Most consumers want to access their accounts easily and quickly, and entering an extra code, or waiting for a text, is not something they like. But as Honan's story proves, any step that can stop hackers is one that you should consider. Yes, it could take you a couple of seconds longer to log onto your accounts, but isn't the extra security that two-step authentication provides worth this small hassle?

 

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