A quick guide to multi factor authentication

MFA

 

Authentication is something you: Are, Have, or Know. But how does that tie in to your accounts?

Know: Single factor

This is the simplest form of protection, usually a password and user name to keep your account secure. There are a few methods to make this method work for you, having complex passwords and changing them regularly. But remembering that it is the least secure option and that you will be susceptible to attacks from hackers so ideally you would not rely just on this.

Know & Have: Two factor

In addition to a username and password another method of confirmation is required for verification. This is usually an email, text message, or authentication that gives you a code to enter in to the account you are trying to get into. The combo usually makes it more difficult for hackers to get into your account because most people use text codes which require the hacker to have your phone.

While it is possible for hackers to reroute these code bearing messages it takes a lot of time and expertise, so it Is very rare that this would be a problem. For most people it’s perfectly safe to rely on a code to go to their phone to keep your accounts safe.

Know, Have, & Are: Multifactor

Uses the above methods as well as others to verify your identity. Fingerprints, for example can be used to verify our identity when opening apps on your phone or to conduct transactions in the app store or with apple pay. There are even “keys” you can buy to secure your accounts that just require you to plug them into a port in your computer to unlock your account’s. Anything added to the log in process that requires you to have or do something only you can accomplish makes your account that much more secure.

Are: Biometric

Authentication that uses your body as a verification. Retinal scans, face scans, and fingerprint readers. Since these all require your physical presence they will probably become more mainstream, due to the challenge it would be to bypass. Hackers can easily bypass password protected accounts but as the security becomes more intricate it requires a lot more effort and expertise to get into which usually isn’t worth the effort.

 

Ontop of a good strong password it is important to constantly be keeping up to date on new technology tips and treds to keep you safe. While Multi factor authentication can provide a barrier against loosing important information, it can not fight off all threats. You should also perferm regular backups and purchase security softare to keep your computer safe. And if you have any doubts or concerns you should seek the advising of your IT team.

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