2FA, also known as two factor authentication or multifactor authentication (MFA), is an incredibly important form of security for your account. MFA is designed to protect accounts by requiring users to present 2 or more pieces of evidence when they try to sign in.
Typically, this means providing a username, password, and additional information, such as your phone number or a code sent via text message. It’s typically divided into the following:
- Something you know (password, PIN, passphrase).
- Something you have (phone, hardware devices).
- Something you are (biometrics—fingerprint, face recognition).
All of these further mitigate the risk of intrusion into your account.
Depending on your authenticator app, there are 3 ways to receive your second authentication:
- Sent Me A Push (Recommended) – this requires downloading the authenticator app to your smartphone. Your provider automatically sends an authentication request via push notification to your smartphone.
- Call Me – you will receive a phone call shortly after selecting this option.
- Enter a Passcode – you can authenticate using a generated one time passcode.
If you don’t have an app, services usually send a code through SMS or email.
Multifactor authentication (MFA) provides an added layer of security that should never be overlooked. MFA requires users to enter at least a second authentication factor to log in, making it much more difficult for a hacker to gain access to your account.