How to protect your online accounts

Anyone with an online account is familiar with providing verification in order to login and access an account. Whether it’s to pay a bill, manage a service, or set up an appointment, a login and password is virtually always requested. These safeguards are put in place to protect the user’s personal information. While passwords are a great way to protect accounts, two-factor authentication is the best way to protect sensitive data according to a recent SANS institute newsletter.

  • While passwords can be a good first line of defense to protect online accounts, they aren’t as effective as they used to be. Anyone who can guess or has access to passwords can pretend to be the user of an account and access sensitive information. Once passwords are compromised, they no longer protect personal information.

  • Two-factor authentication protects personal information more effectively than passwords alone because it requires two separate methods to prove the authenticity of the user.

  • Many banks, email services, and social media sites allow users to enable two-factor authentication and offer step-by-step instructions on how to set it up. Typically, once it’s set up, users will log in normally and then they’ll receive a unique code via text that has to be entered on the login screen.

Although setting up and utilizing two-factor authentication may seem tedious, it can decrease the odds of becoming the victim of a cyberattack. Check out the entire SANS Newsletter for more detail here: Lock down your login

Nathan Boxx, Bradley Newman, Jason Seltzer

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