What is two-factor authentication and how to enable it

What is two-factor authentication and how to enable it

January 16, 2024 privacy 0
If you think a password is enough to protect your account, think again. In the age of cybercrime and high-tech hackers, you need something more sophisticated. You need two-factor authentication (2FA).

Contents What is two-factor authentication? What are the benefits of 2FA What are the authentication methods for 2FA Examples of two-factor authentication How to enable 2FA Enable 2FA on macOS Enable 2FA on iOS Enable 2FA on Android Enable 2FA on Windows 10 and 11 Enable 2FA for social media

Creating unique and strong passwords for your accounts is great, but it has limits. Which is why 2FA is one of the best ways to keep your accounts safe. Now available across numerous services — including Apple’s operating systems, Google Drive, Windows 10 and 11, and popular social networks — 2FA is a simple and effective security solution.

What is two-factor authentication?

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What are the benefits of 2FA

2FA significantly improves your account security. Even if you create a strong password with the help of a password manager, you won’t know if that company has leaked your password due to a data breach. But, using 2FA ensures that a hacker who knows your password can’t access your account. Instead, they would also need physical access to your phone. So, it provides you with an extra layer of protection against cybercrime, and you get immediate notification if someone tries to break into your account. {SHORTCODES.blogRelatedArticles}

What are the authentication methods for 2FA

Something you know: Passwords PINs Secret questions Something you have: Passkeys SMS codes Email codes One-time passwords Authentication apps Token-based authentication Smart cards Something you are: Fingerprints Facial recognition Voice recognition Iris scans

Examples of two-factor authentication

One of the most basic examples of two-factor authentication is signing into your Google or Facebook account from another device. You enter your email and password, but instead of letting you in, the platform asks you to enter a six-digit PIN sent to your email. Because knowing your password is not enough anymore, the platform reduces the likelihood of a third party stealing your account. In some cases, personally identifiable information can work as elements of 2FA. For example, a bank representative knows your phone number but also asks you to confirm your birth date as a means of identity verification.

How to enable 2FA

Here’s how you can enable 2FA on several different platforms. Remember that you may need more than one device when it comes to activating 2FA.

Enable 2FA on macOS

If you’re setting up 2FA on macOS, head to “System settings” in the Apple menu, click on your name, or sign in with your Apple ID. Click on “Sign-in and security,” find Two-factor authentication, and click “Turn on.” Answer security questions and click “Continue.” Enter your phone number and verify your identity. If you’re using macOS Mojave or an older OS, here’s what you need to do: Go to “System Preferences” and click “iCloud.” Next, select “Account Details.” Go to “Security” and click “Turn on two-factor authentication.” So, whether you use the latest macOS version or something a little older, you can now secure your device with 2FA.

Enable 2FA on iOS

Go to “Settings” and tap on your name. Tap on “Sign-in and security.” If you’re using an earlier version of the operating system — iOS 10.2 or older — head to “Settings,” “iCloud,” then “Apple ID.” Tap on “Turn on two-factor authentication” and click “Continue.” Enter the number of the phone you want to use as your verifying device and verify your identity. Now, you’ll be able to use 2FA to secure your iPhone.

Enable 2FA on Android

To enable 2FA on an Android device, visit your Google account. Confusingly, Google uses the term “2-Step verification” when referring to their 2FA features. Here’s how to enable it: Go to your Google account and click on “Manage your Google account.” Go to the “Security” tab. Click on the arrow next to “2-step verification.” Pick the authentication method you prefer. This is how you set up 2FA and improve your Android device security. You can either stay with the default option and receive your security codes via text or voice messages, get the Google prompt to make your verifications quicker, or use the Google authenticator app. With the Google prompt, you won’t need to type in verification codes whenever you want to access your account. Instead, you will receive a notification asking if it’s really you trying to log in. Simply tap “Yes,” and you’re in.

Enable 2FA on Windows 10 and 11

If you’re a Windows 10 or 11 user, setting up 2FA is simple and can be carried out online through your Microsoft account. As part of the authentication process, you can use an email, a phone number, or Microsoft’s dedicated Authenticator app. Head to Microsoft and sign into your account or create a new one. Click on “Security.” Click on “Advanced security options.” Pick a method and verify your identity. Whether you use Windows 10 or 11, these steps are necessary to enable 2FA and secure your Microsoft account.

Enable 2FA for social media

In the video below you can find out how to protect your social networks with 2FA.

Most online services from email providers to banks offer some kind of two-factor authentication. If it’s an app, go to “Settings” and look for security options. If you want to enable 2FA for a larger platform, such as Google, Apple, or Meta, go to your account options and check your options under the “Security” tab. ), }, { question: ‘Are 2FA and MFA the same?’, answer: ( Yes, in a way, 2FA and MFA are the same. The difference is the number of user authentication methods you set up. Note that regardless of whether you use 2FA or MFA, in most cases, you’ll only need two authentication methods at a time. MFA simply gives you options to fall back on if you forget your password or lose your device. ), }, { question: ‘How do I turn off two-step verification?’, answer: ( If you want to remove 2FA from a PC, Mac, iPhone, or Android, follow the steps described above. Once you reach the last step, turn off the 2FA option. ), }, ]} />

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