What is two-factor authentication, and why use it?
One of the great benefits of the internet is easy access to your information. You can use any computer in any location to access your information, as long as it’s connected to the Internet. Compare this to the time when you had to physically visit a bank office or your accounting partner to simply get or provide some financial information or do a standard transaction.
The drawback for this ease of access is that if someone find out your password they can also get to your information from any computer in any location - without first having to get screened by your bank officer or accountant. Obviously we all keep our passwords close to heart but accidents or crimes still happen, therefore it’s a good idea to add an additional layer of security by requiring a physical device that you have, usually a mobile phone. This way you can still access your information from any computer in any location - but only you will be able to do it because only you will have your mobile device (which most of us usually have on us most of the time). This is what two-factor authentication is about.
How to get started
After you have walked through the step by step guide to enable two-factor authentication you’ll be ready to make use of this increased security. To start the guide go to your “User account” settings (login, click on your name in the upper right corner) and select your preferred method. If you have a smartphone you download an app and then generate valid codes yourself. If you don’t have a smartphone then a code will be sent to you by text message. You will also be provided with a backup code that you can use in case you lose your mobile.
How you log in with two-factor authentication enabled
- You’ll enter your password as usual
- You’ll be asked for an additional onetime code according to the method you selected in your User account
What if I lose my phone?
If you lose your mobile then you use the backup code to log in. When you use a backup code you will get a new one to ensure you always have a backup mechanism.