Who, What, Where, Why, and How of Two-Step Verification?

In January of 2020, Microsoft reported 1.2 million accounts were compromised, but the most common issue between the compromised accounts was they didn’t have Two-step verification. This easy-to-set-up security process can drastically reduce the risk of a cyber-attack. Here are some helpful tips and facts surrounding 2 step verification, as well as which of your favorite sites and software that have it:

How?

Two-step verification works by adding an extra layer of security by requiring a 3rd approval for signing into accounts. Two-step verification is very common throughout normal life. From PINs for credit cards to SMS messages sent to your phone to log into your iCloud, 2FA is very common because it works.

Who?

Hackers vs. General Public

Every 39 seconds, someone’s sensitive account is hacked (University of Maryland). Millions of dollars are lost every year to hackers, so who is doing something about this?

Luckily, other humans are worried about cybersecurity too, so we’ve got several types of software to choose from.

Google Authenticator (Most common)

  • Free
  • Available for Android and IOS

Last Pass

  • Free
  • Available for Android and IOS
  • Available as a Chrome Extension

Microsoft Authenticator

  • Free
  • Available for Android, IOS, and Windows 10 Mobile

DUO Security

  • Easy to Use
  • Free
  • Utilized by NAU

Where?

You should install any type of two-step verification to your everyday electronics to prevent any type of attack. Wherever you need to log in with a username and password, especially if you have the same password, attach it to a two-step verification software so you can prevent a compromise. There is countless software that specifically uses a Two-step verification process. Most of your main social media have it as well. Here is a handlist of software that uses 2-step verification, so make sure o turn it on to keep you safe!

Apple

  • Your apple devices and accounts automatically enroll you into Two-step verification.

Instagram

  • Instagram is a social networking site that is owned by Facebook. The site has Two-step verification available to users. You can turn this on by going to Your Profile > Settings > Security > Two-Factor Authentication

Facebook

  • Facebook is another social networking site that is used by millions of people, To turn on Two-step verification for your login, go to Settings > Security and Login and scroll down to Use two-factor authentication.

Google

  • Google accounts have the option to use Two-step verification, it’s nearly impossible to avoid it! To set up go to your Google account, click on Security, and there you’ll find all the options available to you for protecting your device, including 2-step verification.

Twitter

  • Some of the best content, but also contains sensitive data that hackers want to obtain. To turn it on, go to your account settings, and select Security and Privacy, and go to Account, and there you’ll find a security tab that has Two-step verification available.

Amazon

  • You wouldn’t download a car, but a hacker would buy a car through your account! To turn Two-step on in Amazon, head over to Accounts and Lists, select Login and Security, select ‘Edit”, and 2-step verification will be available to you.

Snapchat

  • Why would you want someone to have access to secret messages to your friends who think it’s you? To turn on Two-step on Snapchat, tap your profile, select the gear icon, and select Two-step verification.

Why?

Two-step verification is an added layer for hackers to get through to obtain sensitive data. Hackers force companies to invest trillions of dollars every year to prevent attacks, technology users don’t need to invest absurd amounts of money but should follow suit in preventing these ruthless attacks.