In today's online environment, the traditional “username and password” approach to account security can often be easily breached by those online bandits. Many passwords can be compromised in a matter of minutes, if not seconds, and your private data; such as your personal and financial details, are under threat of falling into the wrong hands.
One way to keep yourself and your business safe is to use a passphrase instead (you can read this excellent article on why passphrases are better than passwords) but even these are not impregnable and so you will want some form of multi-factor authentication to protect your accounts.
What is Multi-Factor Authentication?
Multi-Factor Authentication (of MFA) is the use of two or more independent means to identity the user requesting access to an application or service. The most common form of multi-factor authentication is two-factor authentication (2FA), which usually matches your password with a second means of an entirely different kind such as an application on your smartphone.
When you activate multi-factor authentication on an account, each time someone attempts to log in from a different device, an authorization check will be sent to you to make sure it is really you trying to access the account. If the service doesn’t get a response, it won’t let the person in.
Why should we be using it?
Online security is essential in this day and age, especially if you are managing any business related data. Although it can seem like adding MFA to your different applications and services may add 'just another annoying step' in the process, it is important to balance user convenience and security because the reality is that extra little step could well be the one that saves your or your business from a security nightmare.