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February 8, 2023

Do you find yourself logged out of your Facebook or other social media accounts? Are you worried about someone hacking into any of the sites you use most, especially if you store payment information there?

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Two-factor authentication is the best protection against any of these, and many more. I’ll explain what it is and why you should enable it whenever possible.

What is two-factor authentication?

Sometimes called two-factor authentication, or 2FA, when you log in somewhere, two-factor authentication uses at least one backup method as protection. You usually only need a username or email address and a password to log into websites and applications that store various personal information. 2FA adds a step in the hopes of making it harder for hackers to obtain that information.

Your Amazon account likely has multiple credit cards on file, along with addresses for you and all your household members. If someone gains access to the account using just your email and a generic password, they can gain access not only to your personal information, but also to your funds.

Two-factor authentication has become a standard security setup in the workplace as offices look to provide additional protection for company-owned devices, especially outside of the workplace as remote work becomes more popular. You can now also set up two-factor authentication on all popular social media sites and other popular sites like major banks.

How does two-factor authentication work?

After logging into the website you want to set up 2FA on, you can choose a backup method and you must approve any logins.

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For example, imagine your Amazon account. If you don’t want anyone on your new device to be able to log into your Amazon account using only your email and password, you need to set up two-factor authentication. You’ll then choose an alternate method, such as receiving a text with a code every time someone tries to log in from a new device.

How to set up two-step verification on Amazon.

How to set up two-step verification on Amazon.
(Kurt Knutsson for Fox News)

Why should you enable two-factor authentication?

While it might seem annoying to follow a few extra steps to log into any of your major accounts, it’s worth protecting your information from others seeing it. Two-factor authentication means you have to approve the login on one of your approved devices or via methods such as text messages, making it harder for hackers to log into any of your accounts.

Two-factor authentication usually means getting a text message like this on your phone.

Two-factor authentication usually means getting a text message like this on your phone.
(Kurt Knutsson for Fox News)

Setting up two-factor authentication on each account, such as your Facebook account, can take less than a few minutes. Search “Facebook privacy” to see my step-by-step steps to take control of your privacy on CyberGuy.com.

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You should set up 2FA on any account where you have saved financial information. This includes your banking, shopping apps, and any social media apps. You can search for “email privacy” to learn how to set up two-factor authentication. Just enter “CyberGuy.com” in the URL field to get started.

What are the risks of 2-factor authentication?

Some common scams take advantage of our habits with 2FA, and scammers have been known to trick you into providing a code you receive via text message or app on your phone. Be sure to only use the code you receive for the website you’re logging into, and never share a code you receive with anyone else — especially someone over the phone.

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Copyright 2023 CyberGuy.com. all rights reserved. CyberGuy.com articles and content may contain affiliate links that earn commissions on purchases made. What is two-factor authentication and should I enable it?



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