Using Two-Step Verification to Secure Your Online Accounts
The world today has seen a complete and total shift to cyberspace; online bank accounts, purchases, business – nearly every single component of our hectic lives has been safely transitioned online. However, how safe is safe? Vulnerabilities, hackers, and malware are not like they were even five years ago. Security threats have evolved to take place beyond a single hacker cracking a user’s log-in information; the threats of the current age are far more complex, flexible, and damaging. Malicious bots can target anything from credit card information, private documents, and social media accounts. The stakes are higher than ever before, and users need to feel secure when storing sensitive information online.
If infected code and viruses have developed, so have security measures. In order to ensure complete, air-tight security of online accounts and information, a number of giants in the software and development industry have taken to employ the two-step authentication method.
Security breaches are commonplace, and users must protect their data and information from ill-intentioned bots and hackers. This method has been successfully implemented by not only Google, but Facebook, Apple, Dropbox, Microsoft, and PayPal. All these platforms host accounts which store highly sensitive and confidential details. Enabling the two-step verification measure is as simple as accessing the “Security and Privacy” tab of any website. In fact, some servers – such as Google – require the user to set up a two-step authentication method when first creating an online account.
How Two-Step Verification Works
This security measure essentially adds two levels of protection when accessing online accounts. The first level is standard; it consists of a user’s log-in credentials which they choose themselves. However, it is quite easy for malware and hackers to obtain this information. Hence, an extra layer of protection is required to keep security breaches at bay.
Upon creating an account, or choosing to implement the two-step verification method on an existing one, the server will deliver a unique six or eight digit code to the user via SMS, voice call, or email. This code is then required to be entered in order to gain entry into any online account.
The protective services do not end there; this security measure keeps close tabs on log-in attempts. If a hacker or bot attempts to access an account and is locked out after a certain number of unsuccessful tries, the rightful user is immediately notified. An email or SMS lists the location, time, and even device used when such an incident occurs. Users can then choose to update their passwords to prevent another attack.
The system also keeps a helpful watch on how many devices and locations were used to access an account online. These can be reviewed any time by simply accessing the “My Account” or “Security and Privacy” section of any online account.
The two-step verification method proves to be a sound and secure way to protect online accounts. If you do not have the system implemented now, you should do so immediately in order to best protect your private information and accounts.