Two-factor authentication (2FA)

Learn about two-factor authentication (2FA), a crucial security process that enhances account security by requiring two separate forms of identification.

What is 2FA?

Two-factor authentication (2FA), also known as two-step verification or multi-factor authentication (MFA), is a security process that requires users to provide two separate authentication factors to verify their identity before gaining access to an application. This process typically consists of something that the user knows (e.g. password) and something that the user physically has (e.g. smartphone).

In practice, the process works as follows:

  1. The user enters their username and password into the application.
  2. The application prompts the user to enter a randomly generated 6-digit code from either the 2FA app on their smartphone or SMS.

2FA methods

Every method has its own advantages and disadvantages, but the most secure and recommended is the biometric method. This is because biometrics are unique to each individual and cannot be easily stolen or replicated. That's why even banks are starting to use biometrics as a form of authentication.

SMS

SMS is one of the most common 2FA methods. It involves sending a randomly generated 6-digit code to the user's phone number via SMS. This method is considered one of the least secure 2FA methods because it is susceptible to phishing attacks, so cyber-security experts recommend using a different method.

Biometrics

Common examples include fingerprints, facial features, and iris patterns. Biometrics are considered as one of the most secure 2FA methods because they are unique to each individual and cannot be easily stolen or replicated. In most of the cases, biometrics are available only for accessing your account on mobile devices, not on desktops.

Security keys

Security keys are physical devices that you can use to authenticate your identity. They are typically small USB devices that you can plug into your computer to verify your identity. Security keys are considered as one of the most secure 2FA methods because they are not susceptible to phishing attacks. This is because they require you to physically insert the key into your computer to complete the login process.

Authenticator apps

Authenticator apps are applications that generate a random 6-digit code that you can use to verify your identity. They are typically available on smartphones and can be used to authenticate your identity on both mobile and desktop devices. Authenticator apps are considered as one of the most secure 2FA methods because they are not susceptible to phishing attacks. This is because they require you to physically enter the code into the application to complete the login process. We can recommend you the following authenticator apps:

Android

iOS

Why should I use 2FA?

  1. Protection against stolen credentials: Even if someone manages to steal or guess your password, they won't be able to access your account without the second factor of authentication. This is typically something only you have access to, like your smartphone or a physical security key.
  2. Mitigation of phishing attacks: Phishing attacks involve tricking users into providing their login credentials on fake websites. With 2FA, even if a user falls victim to a phishing attack and enters their password on a fraudulent site, the attacker still won't be able to access the account without the second factor.
  3. Security even with weak passwords: While using strong, unique passwords is crucial, not everyone follows this practice. 2FA can compensate for weaker passwords by adding an additional layer of security, reducing the reliance on the strength of your password.
  4. Account recovery: In case you forget your password or are locked out of your account, 2FA can serve as a means of account recovery. You can use the second factor to verify your identity and regain access to your account.
  5. Regulatory compliance: Many regulatory standards, such as PCI DSS, require the use of 2FA to protect sensitive data. If you're a business that handles sensitive data, you may be required to use 2FA to comply with these standards.

How do I set up 2FA?

In Redamp.io

If you want to enable 2FA for your Redamp.io account, you can find more information here.

In other applications

  1. Access the application's security settings:
    • Log in to your account on the application for which you want to enable 2FA.
    • Access your account or security settings. This is usually found in the account settings or profile section.
  2. Find 2FA settings:
    • Look for the option to enable 2FA. It might be labeled as "Two-factor authentication," "Multi-factor authentication," or something similar.
  3. Choose your 2FA method:
    • If the application supports multiple 2FA methods (SMS, Biometrics, Authenticator app, ...), choose the one you prefer.
  4. Enable 2FA:
    • Follow the instructions to enable 2FA for your account.
  5. Save backup codes:
    • Many services will also provide you with a set of recovery codes when you enable 2FA. These are crucial in case you lose access to your 2FA method (e.g., your phone). Store these codes in a secure place.

How do I use 2FA?

In Redamp.io

If you want to use 2FA for your Redamp.io account, you can find more information here.

In other applications

  1. Log in to the application: Whenever you log in to the service, you'll enter your regular password as usual.
  2. Application asks you about 2FA: After entering your password, you'll be prompted for the second factor, which might be a code from your authentication app, a text message, or another method you've chosen.
  3. Enter the second factor: Enter the second factor to complete the login process.
  4. Access the application: Application will check the second factor and grant you access to your account.

What if I lose my 2FA device?

Losing your two-factor authentication (2FA) device can be a frustrating situation, but there are steps you can take to recover access to your accounts and enhance security. Here's what you should do:

  1. Use backup codes: If you saved your backup codes when you enabled 2FA, you can use them to log in to your account.
  2. Contact support: If you didn't save your backup codes, you can contact the application's support team and ask them to disable 2FA for your account.
  3. Alternative devices: If you have access to other devices where you were previously logged in, you can often disable 2FA temporarily, then re-enable it with a new device. This is a common approach for services like Google and Facebook.
  4. Use other backup methods: Some services offer backup methods for 2FA, such as using an authenticator app on multiple devices or having backup codes sent to your email. If you have these options set up, you can use them to regain access.