2FA- What is that?

2FA- Two Factor Authentication

2FA- Two Factor Authentication2FA- Two factor authentication. Quite simply, it is the method to use to secure your access to critical information such as online financial sites, email, corporate servers and other infrastructure that would create havoc if compromised. This is how it works: You login to wherever it is and enter your username and password, then you have an app (on your smartphone, computer or even a keyfob) that will have a code on it (usually 6 digits, but could be longer) and you have about 20 seconds to enter that code in. That way if someone besides you tries to access your account by hacking or guessing your username and password, they still can’t get in without having the one thing only YOU have, the code. Of course, we’re getting more lazy as we go and no one wants to have to enter another code, but then everyone complains if they get compromised. Catch-22 isn’t it?

Many sites offer 2FA currently like Gmail and others, however there are millions of sites that should offer 2FA that do not. Some examples would be banking sites, 401k sites, medical information (like health insurance) and other similar sites. You might wonder “why would I care if my health insurance site offers 2fA?” and the response would be quite simply your literal health could be at risk without it. Let’s take a moment to talk about healthcare fraud and hacking. Your name, insurance information and date of birth gets compromised.  Someone has some health issue and goes to the hospital as you (because they bought your info on the black market) and gets treated. A year down the road you go to the hospital. The records show you have this other illness/disease (that you really don’t) and they give you treatment for that plus the current condition. What if the medication for the other condition causes you a reaction or even death. Protecting that information is vital to your long term well being.

Did you know the JPMorgran hack was successful because ONE server that was kind of forgotten about, and did not have 2FA enabled? Yes, that is the case. You can read about it here. Still think 2FA is too much hassle?

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