The why and how of two factor authentication

With consumers moving more and more of their day to day lives online, the need for robust data security is at an all-time high. The vulnerability of many user accounts has been exposed through the phenomena of ‘fraping’ and hacking activities, leading to users having the option to activate two factor authentication for logins on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The fear of data theft is always there, especially with recent news stories about companies like Carphone Warehouse suffering major cyber-attacks, so consumers need more reassurance than ever.

Two factor authentication provides an easy solution to this problem. Use of this method means that not only does the user have to possess certain knowledge to access the account (e.g. username and password), but have possession of a certain physical object. One of the easiest ways to do this is through SMS – creating a two-step login system that requires first the user’s login details, and second the entry of a unique, one-time password delivered to the user’s mobile phone.

Dynamic passwords like these reduce the risk of the passwords being guessable, and the use of a mobile phone removes the need for a user to carry an additional object with them whenever they want to access their account. SMS are typically delivered within 5 seconds, so there’s barely any delay for the user.

Two factor authentication is easy to implement in your website or software with some coding knowledge and Textlocal’s free API. You can see how easy it is here. With it, you can ensure that the person accessing an account on your site is really who they say they are – keeping your users’ accounts and personal data safe.