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Two Factor Authentication Explained

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Everyone wants to protect their privacy especially in a World where cybercrime is becoming a major problem. In this blog we are going to explain what a two factor authentication (two-step authentication) is and how it works.

So What Is It?

AVG described two-factor authentication (2FA) as a security measure that adds a second layer of protection in addition to your password. 2FA is implemented to protect both a user’s credentials as well as the resources that they can access. 2FA makes it harder for attackers to gain access to a persons devices or online accounts because even if they know your password they still have to pass the authentication check.

How Does It Work?

There a few 2FA methods ranging from a physical security key to the Google authentication app. You can even get a one-time numeric code either by SMS or voice call.

So here is how it works, if you want to access an account you would enter your login details as normal and click submit. The online service then sends an automated request for a second piece of information (an SMS with a verification code, a Google authentictor prompt or something else that you have set up. You will only get access to your account when your identity has been confirmed with this second piece of information.

The Three Factors

The additional layer of security will generally be one of the following basic factors:
1. Something you know (a pin code)
2. Something you have (a security token that you can get via an app like Google Authenticator)
3. Something you are (biometric data such as fingerprint or facial scan)

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