What is two factor authentication and why you should use it

What is two factor authentication and why you should use it

We have two factor authentication in various services like banks, google, gmail etc. But many of us are not well aware of two factor authentication. As a result, our various account types remain vulnerable to security. But there is no reason to worry because in today's article we will discuss in detail about two factor authentication

What is Two Factor Authentication?

To understand two factor authentication we first need to understand one factor authentication and the comparison between these two security models in real world and virtual world. When you come home from work and take out your key and enter your room, that's essentially one factor authentication. In this case the door and lock assembly will not care whether you are holding the key or someone else is holding the key.

The lock will only care if the correct key is provided. A single physical key carries all the power and is the only way to know whether you will be granted access or not.

This same level of one factor authentication works when you try to login to a website or service using only your username and password. In this case you/your partner or anyone can access your account using your username and password as if they have your house key. If your key or password hasn't been stolen in this case, you're safe. But virtual security gets a little more complicated. Strong passwords as well as two-factor authentication are needed to ensure virtual security to prevent security breaches, sophisticated attacks and other unfortunate things.

Two-factor authentication is a subset of multi-factor authentication. That is, all two-factor authentication is multi-factor authentication, but not all multi-factor authentication is two-factor authentication. However, common users understand multi-factor authentication as two-factor authentication because it is the most common security system.

For a security system to be called a two factor authentication system it must have any two of the following features-

A PIN like a bank card or a password like an email.
Physical bank card or an authentication token.
Biometrics like finger print or Irish pattern.

If you've ever used a debit card, you've probably used two-factor authentication. In this case you must know the physical card as well as the PIN. Without these two you will not get access to your bank account or ATM.

Where and why should we use two factor authentication?

All services that offer two-factor authentication should implement this security measure. Because it is very easy to use. And with this you have a way to protect yourself from identity theft, financial loss and all kinds of other hassles. Keeping passwords secure with a strong password manager and enabling two-factor authentication will greatly increase your security.

Your credit card or primary email account should accept this second level authentication process. If your email is compromised then other services will be compromised through it. Because your email is used as a master key for things like resetting passwords. So it is best not to use your primary email account to sign in to any kind of website. You can use another email address.

If your bank offers 2 factor authentication then you should take this facility. Also, don't forget to use them for other financial service providers as well. If you use services that allow you to receive or send money and have a list of your financial records, you should use two-factor authentication. Besides, it is better to use two factor authentication for personal services such as file backup, photo backup etc.

How does Common Type Two Factor Authentication work?

While we can't demonstrate how two-factor authentication works on individual services, we can discuss the common two-factor methods you'll typically find.


If you've ever logged into a service and been asked to check your email for a verification code, you're using a basic form of two-factor authentication. This is why it is said to keep your email secure. Because various services complete the verification by sending you a code to your email. So once your email is compromised then every service you are accessing with that email is likely to be compromised.

SMS and voice calls

SMS and voice-based two-factor authentication, like email OTP codes, send you a verification code via text message or call to your phone. Although it's not a perfect system, if you have it as your only two-factor authentication system in place, it's fine.It should be accepted.

Mobile app notifications

Some services use their app on your mobile as a second means of verification. Google Prompts is an example of such two factor authentication system. But apart from this there are many more such services. If you want to login to any such service through your computer or laptop, then you need to launch the mobile app of this service and confirm that you want to login yourself. Although it uses a single token, it can be called two-factor authentication.

If the two-factor authentication service is enabled in all the services you use, you should accept it. This will basically give you more protection than your regular password. Let us know what you think of our today's article on Two Factor Authentication through our comments.

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