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The power of two – All you need to know about two-factor authentication

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This article covers the major aspects of two-factor authentication, including what it is, how it works and where you can use it.

Over and over we hear of stolen password databases, phishing attacks, malware that collects all of our keystrokes and even credit card skimmers installed in our local ATMs or at our favourite retailers.

The days of being able to rely on an eight-character password have passed and we need a more robust and reliable way to authenticate ourselves.

What is two-factor authentication?

Two-factor authentication, commonly abbreviated to 2FA or referred to as multi-factor or two-step verification, is the process of verifying someone's identity with two out of three possible identifiers:

Something you knowSomething you haveSomething you are

Traditional online authentication has relied on something you know, a password. There are several problems with this approach:

A password is a secret that you must share with the organization identifying you. More often...(continued)
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