Before discussing the benefits of each, it’s important to understand what they are and what their main differences are. 2FA and MFA are nothing more than two- or multi-step authenticators, making it more difficult to steal email, app, bank account passwords, etc.
Here’s a more detailed list of some of the benefits of using 2FA and MFA:
- Additional protection against hackers: even if someone discovers your password, the second-factor authentication prevents them from accessing your account.
- Prevention of identity theft: multi-factor authentication helps ensure that only you can access your account, even if someone has your personal information.
- Enhanced security: accounts protected by MFA are less likely to be breached, which helps keep your information secure.
- Greater convenience: many second-factor authentication apps offer backup and synchronization options on multiple devices, which makes it easier to access your account.
- Compliance with regulations: Many companies and organizations are requiring the implementation of MFA to comply with security and data protection regulations.
- Increases customer trust: Using 2FA and MFA demonstrates to the customer that the company is committed to securing their information and this generates greater trust and loyalty.
2FA stands for two-factor authentication. It’s a security technique that adds an extra layer of protection to accessing your account, in addition to a password. It typically requires the user to provide some additional information, such as a code generated by a second-factor authentication app, or confirmation via text message or phone call. This helps ensure that only you can access your account, even if someone else learns your password.
MFA stands for multi-factor authentication. It’s a security technique similar to 2FA, which adds more than one extra layer of protection to access your account, in addition to a password. This can include a combination of different types of authentication, such as a password, a second-factor authentication code generated by an app, a security question, or facial or fingerprint recognition. The goal is to ensure that only the authorized person can access the account, even if someone else learns the password.
Precautions when using 2FA or MFA
When using 2FA or MFA, it’s important to take some precautions to ensure that your account is secure:
- Use reliable second-factor authentication apps, such as Google Authenticator or Authy, instead of using the authentication code sent via SMS.
- Store your recovery keys securely, so that you can access your account even if you lose your second-factor authentication device.
- Don’t share your authentication information with anyone and don’t save it on public or shared devices.
- Keep your second-factor authentication devices protected with strong passwords and update them regularly.
- Be careful when giving permission for apps to be used as MFA, as some may be malicious and use your authentication to access your account without your permission.
- Always keep in mind that the security of your account depends on you, so take the necessary measures to protect it.
Best authentication apps
Currently, some of the best authentication apps are:
- Google Authenticator: it’s a free app developed by Google that generates second-factor authentication codes. It’s compatible with a variety of services, including Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Cloud.
- Authy: it’s a free app that offers the option to synchronize your accounts on multiple devices, so you can access your authentication codes from anywhere. It also offers cloud backup and identity theft protection.
- Microsoft Authenticator: it’s a free app developed by Microsoft that generates second-factor authentication codes to access Microsoft accounts such as Outlook.com and OneDrive.
- LastPass Authenticator: it’s a free app developed by LastPass that generates second-factor authentication codes and also allows you to manage your passwords.
- 1Password: it’s a paid app that generates second-factor authentication codes and also allows you to manage your passwords, as well as additional protection such as biometric verification.
These are just a few examples, there are many other authentication apps available. It’s important to research and choose a reliable app that meets your security needs and is compatible with the services you use. Additionally, it’s important to keep your app updated and avoid downloading apps from untrusted sources to ensure the security of your information.