Multi-Factor Authentication and Why It’s a Cybersecurity Essential

When it comes to your passwords, everyone knows the do’s and don’ts of maintaining basic online security: keep your password at least 8 characters long, include some numbers and symbols – it’s pretty straightforward, but it’s not the only thing you can do for your cybersecurity.

There are several ways in which cybercriminals are able to get your passwords. Whether it be through malware, stealing, or simply guessing, cybercriminals are getting better and better at cracking your codes. This is where multi-factor authentication comes in!

What is Multi-Factor Authentication?

Multi-factor authentication is when you need more than one authentication factor to log in to a device or an account. For example, to sign in to your email, you may require a password, plus an additional code that is sent to your phone or generated via an app.

Essentially, with this feature enabled you’ll need multiple pieces of authenticating information to gain access to a device or an account. Instead of just asking for a username and password, multi-factor authentication provides additional layers of security to ensure that only you are able to access your accounts.

The more factors of authentication you have, the less likely it is that your devices or accounts will be hacked!

How Does Multi-Factor Authentication Work?

Simply enough, multi-factor authentication works by requiring multiple factors of authentication when you try to sign into a device or account. If you consider a username and password one form of authentication, multi-factor authentication goes above and beyond, prompting users for additional verification information before granting access.

The most common form of multi-factor authentication is the one-time password (OTP). OTPs are often 4-8 digit codes you receive via email, text, or mobile app, with new codes generated every time the user needs to sign in.

Why is Multi-Factor Authentication an Essential for Your Cybersecurity?

While having a secure password is a necessity for protecting your accounts and devices, in reality it’s simply the first step for maximizing your cybersecurity.

If you only have one factor of authentication (ie: a secure password), it means you only have one layer of protection between you and potential hackers. Nowadays, there are numerous ways in which cybercriminals can gain access to this information, so cracking your password might be a walk in the park for some cybercriminals.

Instead of leaving yourself open and vulnerable to hackers, multi-factor authentication adds multiple layers of protection – even if your password is compromised, cybercriminals still need to bypass the other factors of authentication to gain access to your accounts and devices.

Though it may seem tedious at first, multi-factor authentication is one of the best ways to protect your accounts and devices – and at the end of the day, it really doesn’t take very much for a hacker to gain access to your account if you only have one layer of protection.

Plus think of the pain and work required if one of your social media accounts is hacked? Much more difficult than enabling 2FA today.

If you’re interested in maximizing your cybersecurity, you may be interested in the StartMeStick – an affordable way to resurrect old computers, and it resets to factory settings each time, meaning it will not save any passwords or sensitive information. We also recommend checking out our internet safety guide!