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What Is Two-Factor Authentication

male character holding a key
Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

In recent years, usernames and passwords were enough to secure online accounts of internet users but the times have changed. A large portion of internet users have been victims of hacked accounts or stolen details.

Without doubt, much of our daily activities are carried out online with our phones or laptops. This means a security breach on your device is a security breach on your life.

This development has driven top tier security experts to develop other security systems such as biometric locks or PINs which operate without transference of data online.

Unfortunately, these also pose unique challenges especially when used singularly.

Thankfully, an additional layer of security was thought out to give cyber criminals a run for their money. Think of it as having a door, and an iron gate (abi na burglary proof as we call it).

Two factor authentication/verification

Two factor authentication simply serves as an additional security factor which is mostly aligned with something the users have or who they are.

This second factor (The two factor authentication) is important because times and again, studies have shown that we are terrible at picking passwords.

Read our blog on the 25 most popular passwords

Many times when you have to fix a client’s computer the following dialogue ensues.

Zudera: Good afternoon sir, please what’s the password to your Personal computer (PC). I’d need access to your PC to properly diagnose the issues you complained about”

Client: Ahh, just type “12345

Zudera: Sir?

Client: I said 12345, if that doesn’t work try 1234567.


Boy with his hands on his head
Photo by Michael Mims on Unsplash

Case scenario 2:

Zudera: Good day Madam, I’ll like to access your pc to install the packages you requested.

Client: Ok…

Zudera: Yes ma, I’ll need your password to do that madam.

Client: **calls out her child** Destiny!! Destiny!! What’s the password of that laptop again?

Shebi you are always using it to play game?

Destiny: It’s “0000” mum.

Client: The password is 0000

Zudera: Ahh madam 0000 is too porous a password to use.

Client: My dear, it’s God that saves us all.


Woman shocked
Photo by Etty Fidele on Unsplash

While password systems use only what users know, the second factor system or the two-way authentication goes further to incorporate the use of something the users have or they are to ascertain if the person seeking access to the account is actually the user.

In most cases, text messages or e-mails are used such that the user is requested to type a message sent to him/her for verification.

The two-factor authentication system incorporates a combination of any two of these factors:

  • Who you are; for instance fingerprint, voice, eye scan, typing speed, pattern passkeys etc.

  • Where you are; for instance GPS signals can be used to confirm the location of the user.

  • What you know; this could be personal identification numbers (PIN), password, your mother’s maiden name etc.

  • Something you have; which are mostly objects such as a customized card, a key or a material with an affixed USB secret token component.

The use of the two-factor authentication doesn’t completely rule out cyber security threats but the chances are reduced drastically.

If your device is stolen or someone gets wind of your password, the individual will be denied access to the account without providing the two-factor authentication details which they’ll scarcely have.

Have you enable two-factor authentication on your accounts, and devices?

Don’t procrastinate. Go to WhatsApp, and set up your two-factor authentication.

Go to Yahoo, and Gmail, and set up your two factor authentication.

Need Cybersecurity services? Contact Zudera today!

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