You Need 2FA

Two Factor Authentication (or 2FA) is the term given to those text messages with codes that you have to enter when logging in to a growing number of sites.  If you have not already done so, you need to enable this feature EVERYWHERE.

The reason is that usernames and passwords are no longer secure and even really sophisticated security firms are being hacked when they forget to use 2FA.  Almost every online-accessible provider now offers 2FA and it is usually in the security/login section of your profile.  If you cannot find it OR you are not sure what to do, then contact the company.

There are a couple of realistic options for 2FA – text messages or an authenticator application if you own a smartphone.  Text messages are fine if you always have cell phone reception and easy to setup – you simply enter your phone number, get a text with a code and provide that code to your service.  An authenticator app is also relatively easy but you need to download an app from your app store for that provider.  The app then runs in the background and shows you alerts anytime somebody (including you) tries to log into your account.

Application Access

The single biggest reason people do not want to use 2FA is that it gets in the way of their applications running as expected.  There is a path around this issue as almost every 2FA system provides what are called Application Passwords.  The gist here is that you go through 2FA and then get into your profile, select your type of access and generate a special password for your application.

A great example of 2FA can be found by going to this article on enabling 2FA for Outlook and Gmail.

You have enough to worry about within your life and company without needing to worry that people are going after your providers.  Enable 2FA and obtain a much-needed additional layer of protection!