The introduction of the internet has changed our lives. Today, our life revolves around the facilities provided on the internet by social media, email, finance, and banking, etc. It is so easy to utilise these facilities but are we really safe? Both you and I know that the safety of each individual using the internet platforms is limited. One small hack of private information, and your life may never be the same.
So what can we do to safeguard ourselves online? Most of us may say to use a tough and long password. The next question is, is it enough? To be brutally honest, no! A single layer of password protection, however tough or long it may be, is still easy to crack for most attackers. You may think, keeping your passwords in encrypted boxes will keep the passwords safe, but it is not.
So what is the solution for such a concern? The surveys and studies regarding online security have given us a simple solution – 2-step authentication. To explain it simply, it is a combination of 2 layers of password protection. Upon using both the passwords, only then can one can access what has been safeguarded.
One simple problem we may face will be getting irritated due to opening 2 layers of passwords. Some of us are irritated to open one password, let alone two. But the research has shown that important information like financial and banking, personal emails, and all are better off with 2-step authentication. Last year, more than 70 per cent of attacks failed against data protected with 2-step authentication. So, if you want your privacy to be protected against all odds, you had better opt for 2-step authentication.
Still, keep one thing in mind. Even though you are using a 2-step identification to protect yourself, your data is stored in a remote server and can be breached. The big names in the software industries have all fallen victims to such breaches. Nothing is fully safe, as there is always someone trying to breach the security protocols to gain access to your data.
Working of two-step authentication
In some ATMs, you may have noticed apart from simply typing the pin, it may require an additional verification in which an OTP is sent to the mobile number linked with the bank account. Unless the OTP is entered at the ATM counter, we cannot withdraw any money. This is a common example of two-step authentication’s working in today’s world.
Another example is while logging in from your computer into your social media accounts like Facebook or Twitter, or into your Gmail or Microsoft account, along with the password, it may send a code to the mobile number or email linked with the account to verify it is you. Unless we enter that code, we cannot log in to our own account. There is an option to save trusted devices to avoid this in the future though. Unless the attacker has your mobile in his hand, it is not possible to breach the 2-step security.
Setting up a password and a multi-factor authentication
Multi-Layer authentication will normally consist of two or more layers of protection mostly including one layer of password protection, another layer of biometric verification, and also an additional layer of protection through OTP sending to mobile phones for verification. In case you need an authenticator app, try those with a high level of encryption like Microsoft authenticator.
In the case of passwords, try to change passwords, every few months (at least, once every 6 months). Also, make sure you use different and unique passwords for different logins. In case you feel like you will forget all these passwords, use a highly encrypted password manager.
We are familiar with the public Wi-Fis (like in railway stations, airports, lounges, etc.) that we all make use of while travelling. Make sure to keep in mind that it is easy to get your info if you are using public connectivity systems like Wi-Fi. So, it is highly advised to use a VPN or limit the use of apps requiring any passwords while using public wi-fi connections. VPNs are highly useful if you access important accounts from your phone like bank accounts and all.
To conclude, always keep in mind that there is no such thing as 100 per cent unbreakable security. Anything can be hacked. So, the best way is to be cautious and always be on alert while using accounts with passwords. Multi-factor authentication can protect you up to a certain limit. It may be irritating to most of us, but if safety is a big concern to you, always keep in mind to opt for multiple security layers of protection.
In case of further enquiry about security and passwords, feel free to contact us at 1300 016 017. We are happy to help you.