If you have email, social media, banking or any other online accounts, you have probably been prompted to turn on ‘2 factor authentication’ (or ‘2FA’ for short) at some point. 2FA means simply adding a second step to your login process, on top of your usual username and password.
Many people don’t bother to activate this extra security step, for example it was revealed in early 2018 that less than 10% of Gmail clients are using it. However, with more and more of our personal data being recorded in our online accounts, it’s certainly worth the extra effort.
2FA is usually simply means that a text or notification is sent to your mobile phone. This protects your account when a new person, browser or device tries to log in. For example, if someone managed to guess/steal your Gmail password but you have 2FA switched on, a notification would be sent to your phone asking for your permission to complete the login. You would then know that someone unfamiliar is attempting to login, so you know to change your password, plus they won’t be able to access your account without you clicking ‘yes’ on your phone.
Adding 2-Factor-Authentification to your accounts
Here are some links to turning on this extra security step for some of the more popular apps and accounts. You should also be able to find this in the security settings on the app versions. To see if 2FA is possible on any of your other accounts, check your security and account settings.
- Click here to turn on 2FA for Gmail. This involves linking your phone to your account, so you’ll get a notification when you try to log in on a new device and you can confirm it’s really you.
- Set up Facebook 2FA by clicking here and selecting ‘Get Started’. You’ll add your phone number and then Facebook will text you a code to input.
- For Twitter, go to the security settings here, scroll to the ‘Security’ section and click ‘Set up login verification’
- Click here for Instagram
- Turn on 2FA on online shopping platforms like Amazon that may have your stored payment details
- If you use an online banking app, you probably already have these steps in place, however we would recommend that you check your settings and update your phone number and email if they’ve changed.