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  • Writer's pictureMaddie Cohen

Why Is Two-Factor Authentication Important?

Have you ever gotten a text or email about “unusual sign-in activity” on one of your accounts?

It might say something along the lines of:

If you did not try to sign in from a new device, you can safely ignore this message.

Or maybe you signed in to an account using your password, only to receive a text requesting that you confirm your identity.

These are examples of two-factor authentication (2FA). The goal here is to safeguard your personal information from unauthorized access.

What Is 2FA?

2FA is a security feature that asks users to give two separate forms of identification before gaining access to an account or system.

These two forms of identification are the so-called “factors.”

The first one is generally a password. The second one, meanwhile, can be anything from a fingerprint to a text, email, or response to a security question.

It may sound like overkill—but two-factor authentication is critical.

The primary benefit of 2FA is enhanced security.

In simple terms, two-factor authentication makes it challenging for cybercriminals to access your accounts. Even if a malicious third-party gets their hands on your password, requiring a second form of authentication will protect you.

Key Considerations

Please note that while 2FA is an excellent security measure, it isn’t foolproof.

For example, if the second factor is a text message, hackers may be able to intercept it. Similarly, if you lose your device—or if someone steals it—the second factor could become less secure.

Convenience is another consideration. Some people may find 2FA time-consuming, especially if they need to provide that second form of identification every time they log in.

But the inconvenience is minimal. The goal, after all, is to protect your accounts and reduce the risk of a data breach.

The Verdict on 2FA

Monitoring your most vulnerable information is always a good idea. And while a strong password is a good place to start, 2FA is still worth it for most users.

Two-factor authentication is critical for people sharing sensitive information like financial details or medical records. Though it’s less important on social media, it’s still a good idea to set up 2FA on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Ultimately, 2FA is ideal for users who like having an added layer of security. We encourage you to use it whenever possible.

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