I’ve noticed a pattern lately that whenever I don’t check my Facebook account for more than a day, I get notifications that someone is trying to access my account via password reset. Fortunately, I use two-factor authentication on all of my accounts. (In the case of Facebook I’m forced to use two-factor because of the size of my following). While it can be annoying to have to use your phone or a second computer to verify your identity when signing into an account, it’s a heck of a lot less annoying that dealing with all of the frustration and headaches that come when one of your online accounts is compromised.
What is two-factor authentication?
Two-factor authentication, sometimes called two-factor verification, is a system in which you have to enter a password and then receive an SMS (text) message or email through which you verify that you actually tried to sign into your account. I use this on every service that offers it including my Google account and all bank accounts. This is great because if someone does try to sign into one of my accounts from a computer or phone other than mine, I immediately get a text message. My friends Lee and Sachi LeFever at Common Craft have a great video that explains two-factor authentication. You can see that video here.
Your Password Isn’t Strong Enough!
Beware of Social Engineering
Disclosure: I have an in-kind relationship with Common Craft.