Urban VPN: Glossary

It's no surprise that data breaches frequently occur, given how readily hackers may acquire password and login combinations. Two-factor authentication is the most effective strategy to prevent data theft when such violations happen.

What is Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)?

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a security procedure that requires users to provide two separate forms of identity, the most popular of which are knowledge of an email address and confirmation of mobile phone ownership.

2FA, which is used in addition to conventional username/password verification, improves security by making it more difficult for attackers to gain illegal access, even if they get beyond the initial authentication stage.

As a technique to tighten access controls to the most critical sections of a web service, 2FA is widely used in social media platforms, online banking websites, and e-commerce sites today. Businesses and government agencies can be more productive and efficient using two-factor authentication, allowing staff to do remote activities with fewer security worries.

How does 2FA work?

To secure an account, two-factor authentication employs two distinct authentication methods. In addition to your typical login and password, the second authentication method usually requires you to verify it using something you have with you, such as your phone.

A login or access mechanism that consists of a password plus a security question is insecure because anyone who knows one password knows or, on the other hand, can sort out the security question. Having access to a whole other element, such as your actual phone, is far more complex, which is why two-factor validation is a great deal more secure.

For extra security, using an open VPN can be beneficial. For example, Urban VPN offers a free VPN that helps you secure your data following a robust security protocol.

How do I enable two-factor authentication?

Every app has its 2FA. Below we will tell you about enabling 2FA in some mainstream apps that everyone uses.

  • For iOS

Follow these steps to enable 2FA on your Apple ID if you're using iOS 10.3 or later:

  1. Select "Settings" from the drop-down menu
  2. Press the [Your Name] button
  3. Select "Two-Factor Authentication" under "Password & Security"

When you enable 2FA, you'll get a text message with a code every time you log in.

  • Google

Going to the main 2FA landing page and selecting "Get Started" is the most straightforward approach to enable 2FA across your Google accounts like Gmail, Google Maps, and Youtube. After logging in, you'll be prompted to choose your mobile device from a drop-down menu. If Google can send a message to that phone, you will be prompted to provide a phone number and then given the option of receiving verification codes via text message or phone call. Google will use the method you selected once more. After enabling 2FA, Google will send you a notification whenever there is an attempt to log in.

  • Instagram

Instagram launched two-factor authentication on its mobile app in 2016.

On your mobile app, go to your profile and click on the menu in the upper-right corner. Look for a menu item for "Two-Factor Authentication" under "Settings" > "Security." You can use text message verification or have a code issued to your authenticator app.

If you want extra security, you can consider using a free Instagram VPN to mask your IP address from potential hackers.

  • Facebook
  1. Launch the application on your laptop or phone
  2. In the bottom right corner of the screen, click the three horizontal dots menu icon
  3. Choose "Settings & Privacy" from the drop-down menu. Select "Settings" from the drop-down menu
  4. Select "Security and Login" from the "Security" menu
  5. Choose "Use two-factor authentication" next
  6. Select "Text Message (SMS)" under "Select a Security Method.
  7. Select "Continue" after entering your phone number
  8. Your device will receive a six-digit code. Select "Continue" after entering it in the text box

Your phone should now have two-factor authentication activated. If Facebook detects an unknown device attempting to get into your account, this code will be sent to your phone.

Is 2-Factor Authentication more secure?

Two-factor authentication is, in reality, extremely safe. Although no login method is 100% secure, 2FA protects you from data breaches and hacking attempts. If hackers figure out that you have 2FA turned on, they'll probably move on to another account, leaving yours safe. As the name suggests, 2 factor-authentication allows you to log in into your account through two methods. It could be that the 2FA might prompt you to enter your password, while sending an OTP on your registered mobile number to complete the process.

On the other hand, hackers are continually discovering new things, and 2FA may be cracked in the future. There are already message mirroring programs that can read your texts. Voice bots that steal two-factor authentication codes have also emerged. Hackers turn to social engineering when everything else fails to persuade users to hand over their two-factor authentication codes. However, in the meantime, you can rely on the service and the one time password (OTP) codes that are sent to your registered mobile number and are valid for only a brief period.

Conclusion

2FA is critical for web security since it eliminates the dangers of compromised passwords. When a password is hacked or guessed, it is no longer sufficient to grant access to an intruder: if the second factor rejects the login request, a password is of no use. 2FA actively engages users in the process of remaining secure, fostering an atmosphere in which users are informed participants in their security in the digital realm.

Passwords aren’t safe anymore and you cannot rely on them. However, what you can rely on is 2FA which doesn’t require you to become creative with your passwords since it focuses on sending an OTP or a one time password to your registered mobile number. Several leading social media websites have introduced this method to log in to maintain the safety and privacy of their users’ data. Nonetheless, you can expect more secure ways to log in to come up in the upcoming future.

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