Frequently individual’s internet accounts are being hacked and the information stolen. By implementing 2-step verification on all your accounts means your personal data remains private. In this blog post I am sharing with you what 2-step verification is and how to easily set it up.
We use online accounts to manage our lives. Whether communicating via email, managing files in Dropbox or Google Drive, purchasing through PayPal or Amazon or for messaging inside Facebook or WhatsApp. Historically a password has been sufficient to secure your account, however I am daily hearing about online account information being stolen and that’s where 2-step verification can keep your data safe.
Passwords are great, however it’s not uncommon to use weak ones or have the same password for many internet accounts which makes your account less secure. Also if you click on a phishing link in an email (remember the “Podesta” scandal?) this would compromise your account by giving hacker’s access to your inbox. The same applies to opening a message in facebook that installs malware on your computer. So considering how easy it is to hack a password, should you rely on it as your only means of defense?
For years banks have been using key fobs that generate a unique code to be used along side your password – the password is the first step and the code the second step. For an internet account the second step is a unique code sent in the form of an SMS text message to your phone. This 2-step approach to security means you must use something you know (your password) and something you have (your phone) to securely access your account.
What if I don’t have my phone?
Backup codes can be printed off and kept safe in your wallet. You can also use a trusted person’s phone to receive the code as a backup when you forget your phone.
Most internet account providers allow you to use an app on your smartphone like Google’s Authenticator and the Authy app to generate the 2-step code when you have no internet or mobile signal.
How often must I generate a 2-step code?
The idea is that for regular devices and programs (like your laptop, phone or a website) used to access your account, 2-step verification is done once then you can forget about it. It’s only for new devices and apps that a new code is generated – maybe you are using a friend’s laptop or have a new phone.
How to setup 2-step verification
Most of the major internet account providers have a 2-step approach to security. Click on a logo below for detailed instructions.ions.
Links to download 2-step Verification Apps
Click on the links to the right to download apps which generate 2-step codes instead of a text SMS message.
Take responsibility for your data
For a long time we have relied on the company’s providing our internet accounts to protect our valuable data. Recent security violations of accounts prove that it is now time to take back that responsibility by using 2-step verification – keep safe!