Two-Factor Authentication Blocks Potential Security Threats

Search Encrypt/ July 23, 2018/ Privacy

Search Encrypt is a privacy-focused search engine. As such, we’re focused on data-privacy and the latest privacy practices. While Search Encrypt does not require logging in to search the web, many other websites that create data profiles about you do require you to log in to use their service fully.

What is Two Factor Authentication?

Two factor authentication is when a website or service requires you to use two methods to verify your identity. In addition to using a password, you may receive a code via text message or you may have to identify certain images before being granted access.

You may already be using two factor authentication on your online accounts without noticing. If you’ve ever had to type in a code you received via text message to log-in, or identify pictures of your friends before being able to log in to Facebook, you’ve used it. Two factor authentication, also referred to as 2FA, adds extra security to your accounts and prevents your accounts from getting hacked.

If you lose your password, you don’t have as much to worry about if you enable two factor authentication.

Read More: Complete Beginner’s Guide to Internet Safety & Privacy

Can Two Factor Authentication Be Hacked?

The short answer is yes, two factor authentication and really any system on the internet can be hacked. However, 2FA is just an added layer of protection. If your password is compromised in anyway, it’s unlikely that the hacker will be able to also crack the other factor needed to login.

If you find 2FA to be an inconvenience, it may not be necessary on all your accounts (even though we recommend it). If you use an account regularly but don’t see a major threat if someone were to access it, maybe two factor authentication isn’t completely necessary.

If you use online banking you should definitely add two factor authentication if possible for better account security. Other important accounts like your social media accounts and email should use 2FA because of the major privacy threats associated with unwanted access to these accounts.

Which Websites Use Two Factor Authentication?

Social Media

If you’re using a device that your Facebook or Twitter doesn’t recognize, you may be required to verify your identity before logging in. While much of the information on your social media accounts is already public, hackers could use your accounts to log into other services as well. Twitter sends email notifications if it detects you have logged in from a different location. You can then block unknown log in attempts from accessing your account.

Banks

Banks use two factor authentication, and rightly so. If someone were to access your bank accounts, they could use your account information to make payments or drain your accounts completely. Many online banking services use security questions in additions to passwords for logging in.

Email Providers

You may have noticed that when you are travelling or logging in to your Gmail or other email account from a new computer, you may be required to verify a second bit of information beyond your password. This could mean verifying your backup email address or phone number, or entering a code sent to your phone.

Other Privacy Tips from Search Encrypt

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