Over the past few years, you may have heard about companies, app makers, and service providers launching two-factor verification or two-factor authentication.
What is two-factor authentication?
It is a second layer of protection to your email account, service, or app to go alongside your regular method of logging in. Think of it as ATM Pin Number, the difference being that the PIN is never the same number. In some instances, you might receive a SMS text to your mobile number, but increasingly apps and services are sending notification instead with the option to allow or not allow login.
How does two-factor authentication make your account more secure?
There is a key to the lock on your front door and that key is unique to that lock. The same applies to two-factor authentication. It is the unique key to gain entrance to your data. It is not a perfect system since we all have lost a key to something, but in today’s world we all need additional safeguards at our disposal to protect our data.
Is it worth the time to setup?
Of course, it is! We love (sarcasm) when the 90-day password rule pops up stating you must change your password in three days. From a corporate network side that is one layer of protecting your network, but how often have you changed your personal email password? There are numerous incidents where smart homeowners have setup the same or weak password that they use because of it being familiar and failed to activate two-factor authentication. On the off chance that someone has got your password and tries to enter your account, you will have peace of mind they cannot get in without having your phone. Even in the worse case of someone having both, it is likely locked and protected with a password, fingerprint, or facial recognition.
How do I activate two-factor verification on iCloud, and Gmail?
For most accounts that you have, you will normally find the two-factor verification option in your account security settings. This usually just means finding your settings options, which is normally straightforward.
How to enable Apple two-step verification
For your Apple ID or iCloud account, go to applied.apple.com, then log into your account and look for the two-step verification in the Security section, and choose to turn it on.
You will then go through a setup process that is simple to follow. Also, be sure to create a recovery key and then make a note of that somewhere safe, where you know you will never lose it.
How to enable Google 2-step verification
For your Gmail/Google account, log into any Google service, or just go to Google.com and click on your profile image in the top right corner, then select "My Account.” Click the "signing in to Google" option under the Sign-in and security tab. Look for the 2-Step Verification option and choose to activate it.
Here you can add your phone number, choose to get a Google Prompt on your phone, set up some backup codes that you can print off, or download and install the Authenticator app on your Android phone or iPhone.
Joe Johnston is a Technical Sales Architect with Integrated Solutions; he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also please visit us at https://integratedsolutions.us
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