Saturday, November 7, 2015

Are you using two-factor authentication to secure your banking credentials?

What is "2FA" in geek speak? It stands for two-factor authentication, which is a fancy way of saying that your successful login to a computer system is dependent upon two separate things from any of these categories:

  • Something you know, like a password.
  • Something you have, like a cell phone.
  • Something you are, like a fingerprint or heart beat.

If your login credentials require only user name and password, that's called single factor authentication because there is generally only one unknown in that combination: your password. User names are rarely hard to guess.

But passwords are made to be broken. If you're not using a very strong or really long password, your credentials can be easily cracked and your bank account wiped out. (See earlier posting How do I create a strong password?)

The best protection you can get is to use multiple authentication methods to gain access to your sensitive web-based accounts. If your web site provider offers 2FA, turn it on. It's something you'll have to enable on the site, but figuring out how to do that is easy thanks to Turn it On: The Ultimate Guide to 2FA, which provides instructions for many (but not all) sites that offer 2FA. 

Try it out. Navigate to Turn it On, then type "Google" in the search box and press the Enter key on your keyboard. If the Turn it On web page doesn't have instructions for the site you're looking for, just check with your web site provider. 

Go to your banking web site today and turn on 2FA. Don't wait!

For more information, see

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