How to Enable Two-factor Authentication (2FA)

How to Enable Two-factor Authentication (2FA)

There is an ever-increasing need to improve security these days, which goes for both your personal and business accounts. The good news is there are plenty of different ways for you to enhance your digital security. You can use firewalls, anti-virus software, passwords, encryption, and much more. We understand that some of these security methods can be a littleverwhelming for people to get their heads around at first. This is why today we are examining one of the more straightforward methods and exploring how to enable two-factor authentication (2FA) and keep your accounts safe.

So, what does 2FA mean? Many of you reading this have likely seen the term show up before. You might have seen your personal email host like Google or Outlook ask if you would like to set up 2-factor authentication. Or you might have seen the term used on your social media accounts like Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram. A wide range of websites use 2FA to improve security. Let’s take a more in-depth look at what it actually means, what it does, and how you can set it up. 

What Is 2 Factor Authentication? 

2FA is a quick and effective way to keep your accounts safe, and it can benefit you and your business in many ways. It is an extra layer of security that can protect your accounts alongside the regular password/ username login. Let’s say you have 2FA set up on your Facebook account. When you try to log in, you will be asked to confirm not only your password and username, but it will also ask your telephone number, and then a unique code will be sent to you. You will then need to enter this unique code before you can log into your account. This might seem irritating if you need to login and out a lot during the day, but usually, 2FA will only activate if it detects a login from an unrecognized device.

Let’s say you need to use a public computer to check your email. If you have 2FA set up on your email account, it will detect an unrecognized machine, and it will prompt the need to use 2FA to login. 2FA will also send you alerts if it detects that someone is trying to login to your account through an unrecognized device.

It is easy to see how the basic use of 2FA can improve security. Adding devices to your authorized or recognized list of devices is quick and easy, so every business or entrepreneur will be sure to find 2FA incredibly useful.

How To Enable 2 Factor Authentication

Because 2FA is used by many different digital spaces to provide that extra security level, it can be enabled following a similar method on most sites. While there might be some variations between websites in general, setting up 2FA is pretty straightforward.

Once logged in, go to your account settings and find the security or login tab. Click on this, and there should be an option to enable 2FA. How you activate it can vary from site to site, so you may simply need to slide across, click a button, or go through a menu. An in-depth list of online spaces supporting 2FA is available at twofactorauth.org/.

Once 2FA is turned on, you will need to follow the on-screen instructions to set up properly. For most people, this will mean adding their telephone number so they can receive a unique code to log in. However, 2FA can also utilize apps to provide the verification needed to log in.

For example, if you are setting up 2FA for your Gmail account, then you can instead use a Google App to act as your authentication. So, instead of waiting for a code to be texted, you can access the app to complete the authentication. Apps can do this in different ways; sometimes, you will need to enter a code, press a specific button/ option, or you can even utilize QR codes. 

Should You Use 2 Factor Authentication?

2FA is amongst the easiest and yet most powerful ways to improve security for all your online accounts, whether personal or business. Entrepreneurs, in particular, will be sure to find 2FA incredibly valuable as it will give them a simple way to protect their ideas, files, and documentation.

Security is becoming increasingly important, which is why so many web-based companies are adopting 2FA. The vast majority of online accounts can be better secured with 2FA, so if you do not have it set up, it is worthwhile to spare a little time to adopt this practice. 

If you have any questions about enabling 2FA, or if you want to discuss anything cybersecurity-related, contact us today (970) 663-1200