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Two-Factor Authentication Tips: How to Stay Secure Online

What’s the most common piece of advice you hear about keeping your accounts safe online? Is it to create strong passwords that are unique to every site you visit? Is it to set up two-factor authentication on your most important accounts? It’s probably both of those tips, but at least one of them can be challenging to remember if you don’t have two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication (also known as 2FA) adds another layer of protection to your account by requiring not only a password but also some additional information to log in. 

Protecting your phone 

One of the simplest and most effective ways to protect your phone is by installing a password or PIN lock. This will make it much more difficult for unauthorized people, even if they have physical access to your device, to access your data. You can also consider enabling a fingerprint or facial recognition login. This can offer protection against someone guessing your password while you are looking at the screen. 

Protecting your emails 

Nowadays, it is not just your password that you need to be secure about. For you to have two-factor authentication, you will need an email account as well. This means that even if someone has your password, they still would not be able to log in because they do not have the code. There are many ways that you can protect your emails on a computer but there are also other ways that you can use this form of security. First, if you want the code sent directly to your phone or tablet, then download an app like Google Authenticator or Authy and enter this information into the site where it asks for two-factor authentication. 

Protecting your passwords 

Passwords are the first line of defense against hackers, but even the best password can be compromised if it’s not properly managed. Passwords are a representation of our digital identity, and as such should be treated with care. Here are seven tips for creating and managing strong passwords: 

1) Never re-use passwords on multiple sites. If one site is breached and your password is stolen, all other accounts that use the same password will be at risk of being hacked too. 

2) Create long, complex passwords that include special characters, numbers, and capital letters. These types of passwords are hard to crack using brute force methods like guessing or keyboard logging. 

Protect yourself from phishing attacks 

Phishing attacks happen when someone sends an email or text message that asks for your personal information, like usernames, passwords, and credit card numbers. These messages can be difficult to spot because they are made to look legitimate. The best way to protect yourself from phishing is by using two-factor authentication. This means adding an extra layer of security on top of your password by using something you know (password) and something you have (token or code).  

The easiest way to use two-factor authentication is through a mobile app called Google Authenticator. It’s also important not to open any suspicious links in emails, texts, or social media messages as these could contain harmful malware that can steal your account information. 

Connecting with friends on social media safely 

Connecting with friends on social media can be a great way to connect and stay up-to-date. However, it’s important to remember that no matter what social media platform you use, it is still possible for hackers or other malicious individuals to access your information. You should always try to limit the amount of personal information you share on social media and always set strong passwords. One tool that can help keep you safe online is two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication requires users’ phones or other devices as well as a password to log in. 

To conclude 

The idea of two-factor authentication may seem daunting, but with these tips, you can make it a seamless process.  

  1. Have your verification codes sent to your email address. 
  2. Always log in from the same browser.  
  3. Do not use a public computer.  
  4. Create different passwords for every site and use them carefully.  
  5. Make sure you are using strong passwords that are at least 8 characters in length with combinations of letters and numbers.  
  6. If you have given out your phone number, change it immediately as this is usually the easiest way for hackers to break into an account.  
  7. If you are feeling overwhelmed or just aren’t sure what steps to take next, reach out to an expert who will be happy to help! 
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