In today’s world where cyber-attacks are increasingly common, strong passwords are simply not enough to keep your private data secure. Two-factor authentication has become a pillar of modern internet security. It has been driven by the need to give website users an extra layer of security above just a password.
Two-factor authentication will only grow in importance, and it is crucial to implement it on your website or service. As a user, you shouldn’t trust services that have not implemented two-factor authentication. Below we’ll explain exactly what two-factor authentication is, and the reasons that it is so important.
What is two-factor authentication?
Two-factor authentication also referred to as 2FA, is a secondary method of authentication that is used by websites. Instead of just asking you for your password, they ask you for additional information to verify your identity. It usually comes in the form of sending you a text message with a code that you verify online.
There are also other authentication applications that continuously generate random codes that act as temporary secondary passwords. Finally, there are physical authentication keys that do the same thing Google Authenticator does. Since it is a physical key, it is a lot more secure than Google Authenticator.
Why is two-factor authentication so important?
Two-factor authentication helps to prevent some of the most common security problems from happening to your users. There is a high likelihood that your website will eventually get hacked, and when that happens, your users will be vulnerable across the Internet. Two-factor authentication also ensures that your web services don’t get used by people who shouldn’t have access to them. It protects users in a way that most other authentication methods cannot.
To explain further why two-factor authentication is so important, consider these facts:
- Websites get hacked often. The dark web is littered with databases of websites that have been previously hacked. These databases usually contain massive lists of usernames and hashed passwords. When a website gets hacked, this is usually where all that information ends up. Two-factor authentication is important because it protects your users in every situation. It doesn’t matter if that information has been leaked to the dark web if you have two-factor authentication in place.
- Many people use the same password for every website. The biggest reason why two-factor authentication is necessary is that the majority of people only use one password. While password managers are getting more popular, they are not as ubiquitous as they need to be. Because of that, a website getting hacked puts your users at risk. It doesn’t matter if your website is safe if all others around you are getting hacked. The passwords that are the same for every website will allow hackers to get into your user’s private information without two-factor authentication.
- It provides a second layer of defense, which is incredibly beneficial for website users. Authentication apps are a quick and easy way to log into a website, and you can be sure that your login is secure at all times.