Knowledge about cyber safety is extremely critical in today’s world, full of internet threats and dangers. Traditional username and password authentication system was good many years ago. Now it’s simply not enough. You don’t have to look far to find examples of hacked accounts. There was a case of Christopher Chaney, who managed to get access to more than 10 private email accounts of the famous Hollywood celebrities, using only the information from social media, and the internet.
Are we really safe online?
You might think it doesn’t concern you, but you’re wrong. It’s possible to get anyone’s password. Malware, phishing attacks, and millions of other dangers are waiting for you online. That’s why you have to do everything in order to stay safe. The best anti-malware and antivirus programs are a must. However, even though they are incredibly advanced, there’s always a way to fool them.
One way to provide better online security is to use a VPN. It allows you to make a safe connection to another computer on the internet, and browse there using its connection. It’s making it harder to track your activity, and it allows you to bypass various restrictions. If you were thinking of getting a VPN, take a look at vpncompare.co.uk where you’ll see a list of the best VPN providers.
However, even though VPN provides increased security, it’s still possible to bypass it. That’s why people started to look for a method that provides you with ultimate protection. That’s is how 2FA and MFA were invented. Those abbreviations stand for two-factor authentication and multi-factor authentication.
Authentication systems were invented to make the login process ultimately safe. Login and password are not enough when you’re using MFA. The user must prove that it’s really him. That’s why more checkpoints are added. As a result, it increases the level and complexity of your defences.
Components of multi-factor authentication
Something that you know – the first stage of the protection process. Username and password are a traditional way of proving your identity. It’s imperfect because there are many ways of stealing it. Forms of malicious software such as keyloggers make it possible to detect your password. However, malware is not even needed. When you type the password, and somebody stands behind you, or see the pattern, they can guess your data easily. That’s why more defences were necessary to add.
Something that you have – this is where it gets tricky. In order to log in, you have to get a unique code, that usually comes to your email, phone, or any other formerly determined device. Authentication applications or security tokens are the most commonly used. This component of security system is practical because a hacker would not only have to guess the password but also somehow get access to the one-time generated code, from a device that you always have right beside you.
Something you are – arguably the hardest to bypass authorization system. Honestly, it’s possible to overcome it, though. But only in action movies. But all kidding aside, it uses your biological traits. The system has to recognize your retina, fingerprint, voice or anything like that in order to let you pass. These are your unique identifiers, and it’s pretty much impossible to bypass it for a hacker because your presence is required to get access.
Stay vigilant, even when you have two-factor authentication
Unfortunately, 2FA that was initially almost impossible to overcome isn’t 100% safe now. Hackers are not asleep, and they’re always thinking of new ways to overcome the security systems. For example, SMS authentication isn’t as effective as it used to be, because of so-called phone porting, and SMS phishing. It’s still worth to use it though, especially if you don’t have more alternatives to increase the security level.
What can you do to maximize your security?
First of all, make sure that your passwords aren’t easy to determine. It’s much more likely to be hacked when you’re using passwords such as abc123 or Josh1985. Try to come up with something more challenging, use both capital and small letters, add numbers and special characters. Also, change your password every now and then.
You can use an online password generator if you can’t come up with anything good enough.
If you can’t memorize the password, keep it hidden, in a safe place. Don’t let anyone see it. Avoid storing the passwords on the computer, and above all, be vigilant. Hackers use more and more sophisticated methods in order to get your data, so be careful.
Adding extra authentication factor significantly decrease the odds of being hacked. Whenever you have this possibility, make sure to use double, or multi-factor authentication methods, because cybercrimes can be very harmful, and cost you more than just nerves.