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Strong Authentication and the 3 levels of validation
Two-Factor Authentication, or Strong Customer Authentication (SCA), is a system for protecting your accounts that provides, for greater security, the use of multiple factors to complete the authentication process of a user.
Two-Factor Authentication is essentially based on three different types of validation. The first concerns data that the user knows, such as a password or PIN. The second refers to a tool in the user’s possession, such as a smartphone or a security token. The third is inherent in something that the user is, such as a fingerprint, voice stamp or other biometric data.
How does Two-Factor Authentication work? After entering your username and the first type of validation – that is the password – the system requires you to use an additional factor to gain access to the account.
Generally, the additional factor belongs to the second type of validation and involves entering a numeric code (OTP code) that you receive via a text message on your smartphone or via a security token.
Why should you use Two-Factor Authentication? The 3 main advantages
There are three reasons why enabling Two-Factor Authentication is important. Indeed, it:
- is the most effective security measure to protect your accounts from the threat of identity theft;
- counters phishing attacks by which cybercriminals try to obtain your personal information or sensitive data;
- is convenient, because it allows you to use your biometric data instead of codes or passwords that you could lost.
How to activate Two-Factor Authentication
According to data presented by Microsoft during the RSA Conference 2020, of over 1.2 million accounts hacked in the first month of 2020, 99.9% did not have 2FA. Therefore, activating it is extremely important. However, there is no universal procedure for protecting your accounts: the ways to do this vary depending on the service and / or platform. Here are some instructions to activate 2FA on Facebook, Instagram, and Google.
Facebook’s Two-Factor Authentication requires you to enter a special code every time someone tries to access your account from an unrecognized browser or mobile device.
To activate it:
- Go to the security and access settings;
- Scroll to Use Two-Factor Authentication and click Edit;
- Choose the security method you prefer and follow the instructions.
You can choose one of these security methods:
- Touching your security key on a compatible device.
- Sending access codes via a third-party authentication app.
- Sending codes to your mobile phone via text message (SMS).
- Tap the profile picture at the bottom right, then click on the three-line menu at the top right;
- Go to Settings> Security> Two-Factor Authentication;
- Press the Get Started button, and choose one of these two security methods:
- access codes from a third-party authentication app;
- codes via SMS on your mobile.
- Log in to Gmail, enter settings and click on Manage Your Account;
- Enter the Security section and choose the Two-Factor Verification option;
- Configure authentication by following and instructions.