Cyberattacks on personal and company information are increasing at an alarming rate. Almost everyone has been faced with the issue of having their password to an account stolen. In today’s world of advanced technology and determined cybercriminals, it has become hard to create passwords that cannot be hacked. Add to that the evolving work model of companies in which employees may be in the office one day, at their home another day, and in a coffee shop in a different country the next day and the vulnerability of sensitive information – both personal and corporate – is higher than ever.
That is where multi-factor authentication comes (MFA) in. Simply put, MFA adds an additional layer of protection for your accounts. Whereas a password may identify you as the account holder, MFA provides additional ways of proving your identification as the account owner. For example, when logging in to your bank account, the password tells the system that you are the account owner; however, MFA proves to the system that you are who you say you are. There are three main types of MFA: the first is something that you know (passwords, PINs, etc.); the second is something you have (smartcard or key); the third is something you are (fingerprint, retina scan, or other biometric).
Enabling MFA is fairly simple. For many accounts, such as banking and social media, you will be prompted and given the opportunity to enable MFA. In other instances, it may require enabling a setting. Look for settings that are worded “multi-factor authentication,” “two factor authentication,” “two step factor authentication,” or similar. Either way, it is usually a painless yet very necessary task.