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A Guide to Different Types of Two-Factor Authentication In this day and age, with so many people doing so many things online, personal security is of the essence. One of the most common tactics companies use to ensure their users’ personal data is secure on the internet is ask them to go through a two-factor authentication process. You have likely used two-factor authentication, or 2FA, quite frequently, without even knowing what it was. 2FA requires a person to put his or her login information in over two different steps for the system to ascertain that he or she is who he or she is claiming to be. A primarily example of two-factor authentication takes place at bank ATMs everywhere. After your debit card goes into the machine, it acts, so to speak, as your username and password. After that step, you must enter your PIN number to prove that you are actually the person to whom the card belongs. 2FA is designed to halt identity thieves and other types of crooks before they can actually damage you in any meaningful way. The remainder of this guide will teach you about some forms of two-factor authentication you’ve likely seen on the web at some point in time, or are sure to see in the future. Some Companies Use One-Time SMS Passwords
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In some cases, once you’ve entered your username and password, the system will prompt you to allow the delivery of a one-time use password via a text message. This proves to the system that you have access to the phone number they have on file for you; a thief, in almost all cases, would not. The sole downside to one-time use SMS passwords is that individuals who just have landlines are unable to utilize them.
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Login Verification Is Another Good Option If you’ve ever registered for a website where you have to enter answers to security questions, such as what street you grew up on or what your dog’s name is, you’ve probably used login verification at some point in time. Login verification requires you to enter a separate piece of personal information that is unique to you after you’ve submitted your username and password. The issue here is that, theoretically anyway, a thief could have figured out the response to the question you selected, though it is certainly not likely. If you happen to run a website, it is especially important for you to fully understand two-factor authentication, as you’ll likely need to implement it to make your users feel safe and secure. If you have a webmaster, make sure you work with him or her to make your site as secure as it can possibly for.