What is Two-Factor Authentication?

Two Step Authentication
3 min read
Two Step Authentication

Nowadays, information security should be the number one priority for every business using a computer. A password is the most common form of authentication but unfortunately is not the most secure. Many businesses around the world started using two-factor authentication in order to increase the security of their systems.

You may not know it yet, but you probably already using some type of two-factor authentication in some of your accounts. Some of the larger companies on the web, like Google, Facebook, and Apple already implemented this system on most of their services.

Factors of Authentication

First of all, we need to understand access control’s three factors of authentication. This includes the identification and authentication of a user trying to login to a system. Here are the three most common factors used for authentication:

  • Something you know – password, personal, PIN, or a pattern
  • Something you have – an ATM card, phone, or fob
  • Something you are – a fingerprint or a voice command

By combining two or more factors of authentication you exponentially increase the difficulty of hacking your account.

What is Two-Factor Authentication?

Two-factor authentication or (2FA) referred to an authentication process that increases the security of a system. It adds an extra step to your basic log-in process. The fundamental idea of password security is that reusing a password creates an unnecessary exposure for your accounts. Therefore, a single password for your important accounts just not enough security. This is because, without the use of Two Factor Authentication or 2FA, you just need to enter a username and password, and then you’re in.

The password is your single factor of authentication. The second factor makes the user provide a second form of authentication to verify your credentials. In simple words, the 2FA requires the user to have two types of credentials before being able to access an account.

This security method typically involves a phone number or an email address to deliver an authentication code. The way these method works is by sending the user a six-digit code in order to verify your identity. Then the user types the received code into the authentication field provided by the system.

Authentication Apps

What is an Authenticator App?

As we all know, SMS is not the most secure method of communication. Consequently, some businesses decided to create an authenticator app. A more secure way to access your authentication code. This type of apps generates a six-digit random code that refreshes every 30 seconds. Consequently adding an extra layer of security to your system.

In addition to the previously stated, these apps offer flexibility when you are traveling to a place without cellular service. The most popular options include AuthyGoogle Authenticator, LastPass, and Microsoft Authenticator. While they all differ somewhat in features, the core functionality is similar no matter which app you use.

What is two-factor authentication?

What is Two-factor authentication(2FA)? is an extra layer of security that requires an extra form of authentication in addition to the username and password

The Bottom Line

Two-factor authentication is an important step to take in order to protect your important accounts. I know that it adds an extra step to your login process, but for now, we have to choose between convenience and security. 

While adding 2FA is a great tool for an extra layer of security, remember that you should never reuse your password for other accounts. This is the key to keep your accounts safe in the online world.


Victor Hugo Solis

Master’s Degree in Information Security, a Bachelor’s Degree in Database Administration, and experience as a WordPress Web Designer & Developer.