Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a security feature that adds an extra layer of protection to your accounts. It requires you to provide two forms of identification in order to access an account. The first factor is usually a password or PIN, while the second factor is something that you physically have, such as a security token or your mobile phone.
The goal of 2FA is to make it more difficult for hackers or unauthorized users to gain access to your accounts, even if they have your password. It can help prevent identity theft, fraud, and unauthorized access to your personal information.
There are several types of 2FA, including:
- SMS authentication: A code is sent to your mobile phone via text message, which you must enter to access your account.
- Authenticator apps: An app on your phone generates a unique code that you must enter to access your account.
- Security keys: A physical device that you plug into your computer or connect via Bluetooth, which generates a unique code.
- Biometric authentication: This includes things like fingerprint recognition, facial recognition, or iris scanning.
Many online services now offer 2FA as an option to help protect their users’ accounts. It is highly recommended to enable 2FA wherever possible, especially for important accounts like email, banking, and social media.