What is 2FA and why should I have it?

You may have heard about Two-Factor (or two-step) Authentication (2FA) in the news or in a conversation. Unless you are an IT person this may mean absolutely nothing to you. However, we’re here to tell you how crucial it is to your online safety and also, how easy it is to set up.

Two Factor?

Yes – when you log in to, say, your email account for the first time on a new device, after you have entered your password you will be prompted to add a randomly generated code that is uniquely linked to your account. Without it, you just can’t get in. So, factor one is your password and factor two is this random code.

Why is this a good thing? It’s just something else I have to do!

With 2FA enabled, if someone has guessed or cracked your password it stops them from accessing your account unless they have this other piece of information too.

Your online banking login probably has a similar set up already. As for accessing your email, you won’t have to enter this code each time you log into your own machine – typically you have to do this once or twice per month.

It’s a good thing because one of the worst experiences to have in the online world is getting hacked. You have the stress of being locked out of your account. The data or money (!) you had in there previously may have been deleted, and you may never get it back. Plus, there is the lost time in having to get your access back if you are able to.

One of the biggest concerns we at ITGUY have is protecting our customers. Two Factor authentication is not a cure-all – but it is a no-brainer first line of defence. Yet so many people don’t do it!

How do I set this up?

Google, Microsoft and Apple accounts are simple to set up. Check out the links below:

Google: https://www.google.com/landing/2step/

Microsoft: https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/12408/microsoft-account-about-two-step-verification

Apple: https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT204915