The primary purpose of this process is to prevent people from cybercriminals whose intent is to access your private information. The procedure offers you the extra security that cybercriminals cannot easily crack your passwords and access your data without authorization.

The process is a sub-set of two factors. The ATM card is an excellent example of this process because despite being physically present at the ATM with your card, you must key in your ATM pin to access services.

You find that there are many sites that you cannot access unless you key in your username and password on your browser. The process is referred to as One-Factor Authentication since it requires just your password to access services. Two-Factor Authentication needs you to go one step further- the second factor. 

Once you have keyed in your username and password in such a scenario, you receive a code into your phone to verify whether it’s actually you. Once you have confirmed, that’s the only moment you will be able to log on. Without the code, you cannot access services even if you know the correct password. 

Why You Need the Procedure

Historically, passwords have been proven to be weak due to advanced hacking skills. A recent survey by experts reveals that most people use duplicate passwords to log in to their numerous accounts, thus increasing their overall vulnerability if hackers target them. Over 23 million accounts use simple passwords such as ‘1234567.’

For that reason, 2-factor authentication is becoming necessary every day when signing into sites that you found on Some may think that adding a verification step is time-wasting but look at the benefits of doing so. This factor ensures you are not vulnerable to cybercriminals. Ignoring the procedure leaves you at risk of your personal information being stolen and hackers accessing your bank accounts.

The moment you have added the step, hackers will find it hard to access your accounts and information. Even if the hacker knows your password, they have little chance since they cannot access your verification code. That way, your bank account remains secure.

How 2-Factor Authentication Works

To comprehend 2-FA, you need to understand factors first. The 2-FA factor is what one will require to access their account. Generally, they are broken into three categories:

  • Knowledge: These factors need to be aware of a PIN sent to your gadgets, specific keystroke, or security questions to prevent a web vulnerability.
  •  Possession: Users should physically possess the factor, like a USB drive or a debit card, and insert it into the device for them to be allowed access.
  • Biology: You can access your account once you prove your identity via biological markers like voice or fingerprint. 

Types of 2-Factors Authentication

There are various available 2-FAs, and all of them rely on the factors mentioned above.

  • Hardware tokens: It needs users to have a physical token like a USB token they insert into their device before logging on. Some of the hardware tokens display digital codes you will be required to enter.
  • Software tokens: These kinds of tokens are apps one gets to download. Sites that are 2-FA enabled will send you a code that you will have to key in before logging on.
  • SMS and voice 2-FA: One receives a voice message or a text containing the code you are supposed to enter to access an account or site.
  • Push notifications: All you need to do is downloading a push notification app on your device. Once you log in to your account, you receive a push notification immediately. The notification is to verify that you have approved the log-in attempt by tapping.
  • Biometrics: In this scenario, you are required to verify your account using your fingerprint scanner before you can be allowed to log on.
  • Location: In instances where you registered your account in one state, and you try logging in to another place, this could trigger the location factor. You get alerted immediately of the attempt to log in from another device. You receive a code to verify if it’s you and allow you to log on.

Most websites and accounts allow 2-FA in a bid to protect the personal information of their users. Ensure you have added the 2-FA to your valuable accounts to keep your money and data safe.