You might have seen 2FA and MFA in headlines lately, been asked to turn them on in your Google account, or set them up while you were onboarding at your job. These numbers and letters can make a huge difference in your online security, but what do they actually mean and do?
2FA is an extra layer of security for your account beyond just a username and password. It requires a token (a second credential), in addition to your password, for you to gain access to your account. Getting that token requires access to something that belongs to you—like your cell phone, email, or fingerprint. When you log in to a 2FA-enabled account, you’ll be prompted to type in your username and password (or autofill them if you use Dashlane) and provide that token.
The difference is simple: 2FA requires two methods of authentication (like your password and fingerprint), while MFA (multi-factor authentication) requires two or more methods (for example, your password, PIN, and fingerprint).
Logins are the most sought-after type of data for cybercriminals. In fact, 61% of data breaches involve compromised credentials. 2FA levels up your cybersecurity dramatically by protecting against phishing, social engineering, and password brute-force attacks. It also secures your logins from attackers exploiting weak or stolen credentials. If that’s not enough of an incentive to enable it, here are a few more reasons to add 2FA to your security routine:
The moral of the story? Ice cream is better with sprinkles, hot chocolate is better with whipped cream, and your digital footprint is better protected with 2FA.
Learn more ways to protect your data and get life-saving security tips from author and journalist Nicole Perlroth.