At a time when data leaks succeed, securing its various online accounts is everyone’s business. And among the simplest methods to implement, dual factor authentication remains among the most effective.
But what is this dual factor authentication (or A2F) just? Even if the term does not tell you anything, there is a good chance that you are using it to a lesser extent. Did you notice during an online purchase that your bank sent you a unique SMS code to confirm your purchase? This is a concrete example of two factor authentication/ .
What is dual factor authentication?
As its name implies, the A2F is a method that will add a layer of protection to your account. In addition to the traditional pair username and password, adds the receipt of a unique code that – logically – you are the only one who can hold.
iOS dual factor authentication
Example of double factor authentication
- Most of the time, the services that will offer you to enable dual factor authentication will require a unique code sent by SMS to your phone number. But there is actually a multitude of ways to strengthen authentication to its different accounts.
How do I know if a site offers dual factor authentication?
The simplest method is also the most painful: it is to go manually check in the settings of each website if the corresponding option is there.
What are the most effective dual factor authentication methods?
As we said, the easiest way to take advantage of the A2F is to use your phone number to validate your connection to an online account. But some more advanced sites – including Facebook and Google allow to opt for less restrictive methods.
Google allows you for example to use another device on which you are already connected to validate the connection to its service. For example, when you try to sign in to your Google Account from a new computer, you’ll be prompted to use your smartphone, where you’ll automatically see an authentication request that you can access to sign in.
Facebook double factor authentication
Facebook opts for a similar method to validate the connection. If you have activated the A2F on your account, each new connection to an unknown device will send you a notification on your smartphone. This will suggest you to allow or refuse the connection to the new device by simply pressing the corresponding button.
But if these methods are the most widespread, the use of authenticators is more and more recommended by security specialists . An authenticator is an application that will act as a safe for your accounts with the A2F. Its operation is simple: accounts compatible with the use of an authenticator will require you to scan a QR Code directly in your application to link your account to your app. This will thus generate unique and valid connection codes in the chain in general for about ten seconds. Unlike an SMS that can potentially be intercepted by hackers, an authenticator is safer in that it is integrated directly into your smartphone. Thus, only a loss of your terminal could harm you.