With the wide range of what we do online today, cybersecurity is as important as ever. Getting hacked is as big a security risk as getting kidnapped. But did you know that you can actually use your phone to protect yourself further?
It doesn’t even require any fancy apps.
As long as your phone can receive calls or text messages, it’s fine. Anyone who has a phone can take advantage of this very simple measure to put hackers at bay. And increasingly many online services are now implementing this feature.
It’s called Two-Factor Authentication.
What this means is you need two things before you can login to your account. One is your password, and another is a unique code sent to your mobile phone., either through text or through a call. Usually, though, it’s sent via text message.
Here’s how it works.
After you input your username and password, the next screen that appears is a form that asks for a short code sent to your mobile phone. It may take a few seconds for the message to come through. Once it does, though, you’ll find the code there, and simply type that into the form. Afterwards, you’re logged in.
It’s really easy to enable two-factor authentication.
It varies from each online service, but basically you have to go to the settings page where you can change your password. Somewhere either above or below the password fields would be a checkbox or a button that will enable two-factor authentication. There you can enable it, and it will ask for a valid phone number. Type in your mobile number (include country codes if needed), and you’re good to go. The next time you log in to that account, it will ask for the code sent to your mobile phone after you input your username and password.
You may think that this is a slight inconvenience.
Yes, it does make the login process a tad longer. But then it keeps you safer, so it’s a fair tradeoff. Anyone else who has your password can’t log in to your account, because they don’t have your phone.
Additionally, most online services won’t ask for two-factor authentication every single time you log in; often it’s only once per device. So let’s say you enable two-factor authentication on your Twitter account. Then, you log into it from your home PC. Two-factor authentication will only happen for that one login; the next time you login from your home PC, it won’t happen again. If you then log in from your tablet or phone, it will again ask for two-factor authentication, but only once.
Now it’s your turn. Take advantage of this very simple and readily available way of protecting yourself online.
All you need is your phone.
Want another cybersecurity tip? Give this video a watch for another simple trick you can do.
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