What is it and why should I use it?
As the always-online world has continued to become an ever more dangerous place, the need for user authentication methods other than the old, not-so-reliable username/password combo has become evident.
Logins via the long-accepted username and password method have grown increasingly insecure. Unfortunately, many users make use of the same username and password or rotate through a small number of login combinations. This makes it easier for hackers who might have gained access to user data in the data breaches we seem to hear about almost daily.
Once a bad guy has your login to one website or online service, they consider it a good possibility that you may have used that same login information on other sites and services. Hackers can then try to use the login information to gain access to a user's account on multiple websites, including banking, credit card and shopping sites.
Due to this problem, many websites, social networks, computer and mobile device makers have begun requiring users to use two-factor authentication to log in to their services, networks and devices.
In this article, I'll explain what two-factor authentication is, how it works, how it increases the level of security for logins, what the drawbacks are and why you should use it if it's available.
Article authored by Bill Hess at Pixel Privacy, March 2020