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Two Factor Authentication (2FA)


Two Factor Authentication (2FA)

Permalink 07:52:00 pm by Eugene Gardner, Categories: Security, General, Articles

Despite my suggestion that everyone uses a password manager to generate unique complex and long passwords, few do (excluding those who have already been subject to a breach). For such people an alternative (or better yet, an addition) exists: Two Factor verification a.k.a. 2-Step Authentication.

This allows access to be granted based not on just a password but also some other mechanism ? perhaps fingerprint recognition, telephone call, e-mail or most often, SMS text message. This need not be too burdensome as it can usually be disabled for your home computer.

This is offered by most major sites including

If you are travelling away from home this avoids having your account blocked when the site you want to access detects that you have an unusual IP address.

Note though that some applications (e.g. your mail client) cannot ask for secondary authentication. To get around this a one-time application specific password is sometimes employed. [Google] If you don't have a smartphone you can generate codes before you leave or download an offline app for a smartphone [Google].

Other essentials for travellers include installing Prey on your mobile device and buying a sturdy Kensington lock. And don't forget to (re)read
Precautions for loss or theft of tablets and mobile devices.

Addendum 22 Oct 14: To simplify authentication of multiple devices or accounts or apps, consider use of Authyhttps://www.authy.com/users

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