Every 39 seconds, a hacker attack occurs somewhere on the planet!

It’s a good idea to have passcodes texted to your phone, but new keys and applications can make the procedure much easier and safer.

Sounds crazy, right? In today’s world, it’s typical to read stories of users whose accounts have been hacked. Online security has become a top priority. One layer of protection isn’t enough when it comes to cybersecurity. Although a complex password protects your data well, it can still be cracked.

When using popular social networking apps or software applications, you may wish to enable extra security features, such as Two-factor authentication, which is also often called Multi-factor authentication or MFA.

Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds a second layer of security, providing you with even more protection against online threats.

What is Two-Factor Authentication?

Two-factor authentication, often known as two-step verification, is a security feature that protects your online accounts by adding an extra layer of security.

Instead of using just one factor to verify your identity, such as a password, you use two: your password and a One-Time-Password (OTP) delivered to you through SMS or email.

Let’s look at an example to help you understand. What are the requirements for logging into your email account?

  • Your email id
  • Your password

This is known as Single Step Verification. All we have to do is type in the credentials and log in. But do you realize how dangerous this process might be? Anyone can get their hands on your email address. Hackers can indeed access your account if your password isn’t strong enough! (If it’s “123456,” you’re in significant danger!)

two-factor

As a result, 2FA was created. Even if someone has your email and password, they will not be able to access your accounts. 2FA adds a second layer of security by requiring you to submit a set of credentials that only you, the legitimate user, have access to. Unauthorized individuals will be unable to access your sensitive data as a result of this.

Many famous websites and services now enable two-factor authentication to ensure secure logins.

How Does 2FA Work?

Different 2FA methods employ other processes, but they all share a standard workflow.

A 2FA transaction usually goes like this:

  • The user enters their login credentials to access the website or service.
  • An authentication server verifies the password, and if it’s correct, the user is qualified for the second factor.
  • The authentication server provides the user’s second-factor device with a unique code.
  • By confirming the additional authentication, the user validates their identity.

While multi-factor authentication’s underlying processes are primarily the same across providers, there are many various ways to implement it, and not all approaches are made equal. Let’s look at the different types of 2FA.

Types of Two-Factor Authentications

Let’s have a peek at look popular websites and applications are implementing 2FA these days.

  • Email-based 2FA
  • SMS-based 2FA
  • Voice-based 2FA
  • Software token/TOTP based 2FA
  • Bio-metrics based 2FA
  • As a Push Notification
  • Hardware Token-based 2FA

Different companies and services are using the above types of authentications to provide an extra layer of security to their customers and users.

Authenticator Apps

Authenticator apps may be the finest security choice for securing our login procedure. However, keep in mind that not all authenticator applications are capable of providing the most secure service. Only a few apps have been officially recognized for this service, and we have compiled a list of them for you. If you wish to learn more about these apps and use them, look up the specifics for each one below.

YubiKey

Call it the odd one out, but YubiKey by Yubico is the gold standard for two-factor authentication.

This is a physical key providing the ultimate security. Still, you can also use it with the YubiKey authenticator application if a specific platform doesn’t support hardware authentication.

yubico two factor authentication

Yubico has many products, and explaining each is out of this list’s scope. Ergo, we will focus on their 5 series, the latest, as of this writing.

These IP68-rated keys require no batteries to operate and are solidly built to last long.

The setup is easy, and the key works flawlessly with popular applications like Gmail and Facebook. These keys support protocols like FIDO2, U2F, OTP, Smart Card, etc.

YubiKey comes in various sizes and shapes and suits most modern devices.

While the standard versions are super secure, they also come as FIPS-certified models, which you can get by paying a fraction more.

Lastpass

LastPass Authenticator is not a part of the popular password manager. Instead, it’s a standalone authenticator app that works on both Android and iOS devices. This software offers the most secure two-factor authentication available. You may also use this program to secure an unlimited number of accounts.

latpass-auth

Installing and activating this app will be simple if you already have a LastPass account. It has several features, including:

  • One-tap push notification
  • Compatible with smartwatch
  • Cloud backup

This application is available to download for Android, iOS, and Windows.

Google Authenticator

The most popular two-factor authentication program is Google Authenticator. This is an app to be installed on your mobile phone, and it gives you a real-time authentication code that changes every 30 seconds. Google suggests it for all of your Google accounts. It can, however, be used for a variety of other websites. Wear OS support, a dark theme, and offline support are among the additional features.

google-auth

Google Authenticator includes several features like:

  • TOTP and HOTP Algorithms
  • No need for an internet connection to use it

It’s completely free, clean, functional, and has a large user base. You will ultimately be able to add numerous accounts to this app. Download from here for Android and iOS.

It is also available as a Chrome Extension.

Microsoft Authenticator

Microsoft Authenticator, a reliable authenticator tool built by Microsoft Corporation, can provide the most excellent 2FA security. It is the most suitable option, as it gives both safety and convenience. Microsoft Authenticator ensures tight security by verifying the validity of your device and network, as well as delivering TOTPs.

microsoft-auth

Furthermore, the app’s beautiful and well-designed user interface makes it easier to use. You can download this application for Android and iOS from here.

Authy by Twilio

One of the more reliable two-factor authentication programs is Authy. It functions in the same way that Google and Microsoft’s versions do. You obtain codes from it, which you use to verify your login. It performs very well. The software includes offline support, device syncing, and compatibility for the most prominent websites and account types.

authy-auth

If you don’t want to utilize Google or Microsoft’s apps, this is a decent alternative. Authy is effective at what it does and has some exciting and extremely useful features.

  • Password protection
  • Cloud backup
  • Multi-device synchronization

It’s also completely free, with no in-app purchases or advertisements. Download it for Android, Desktop, and iOS.

2FA Authenticator

2FA Authenticator (2FAS) is an excellent option if you want elegant authentication software. For six-digit TOTP authentication, this is a great application. This app offers features such as QR-code-based authentication and others that make logging in easier and more secure. It allows you to altogether avoid the problem of an unintentional wrong input and saves time. Furthermore, this robust authenticator tool is compatible with over 500 social and other websites.

2fa-auth

Its simplicity limits modification to some extent, but it still performs admirably. Available to download for iOS and Android.

Duo Mobile

The most powerful authentication apps for Android devices have been given to us by Duo Security LLC. Duo Mobile is designed to keep your login safe and secure. It comes with a two-factor authentication service that you may use with any app or website. This program will also notify you when it is being used. Once you’ve checked the message, you can be assured that your next login will be safe.

duomobile

You’ll be able to utilize this app to handle practically all aspects of 2FA authentication. Download for Android and iOS.

Aegis Authenticator

Aegis isn’t the most well-known 2-factor authentication app, but it is a decent one. It has a lot of overlap with andOTP, but it adds a few other functions on top of that. For example, you can lock the app and only allow access after entering a PIN, password, or fingerprint. It’s remarkable to have that extra degree of security. The program supports both HOTP and TOTP authentication methods, and it works with most websites.

aegis

Finally, you may backup your account and export it to a new device if you receive one, as well as you can import from Authy and andOTP. The application is likewise free and open-source. If you wish to see the code, you may do so here. You can download aegis for Android from Google Play.

Important Note

DO NOT delete or remove any social media account from the 2FA app directly. You may be locked out for the rest of your life.

To deactivate two-step verification, first, go to that service’s security or privacy settings and then disable it from there. After that, you can either remove that account from these two-factor authentication apps or uninstall them entirely.

Wrapping Up 👩‍🏫

Two-step verification is required to keep your accounts, conversations, files, and data safe. Even if your username and password are stolen or hacked, 2FA will protect your account as long as the attacker does not have physical access to your phone. This takes less than two minutes to set up and adds security. It is something I utilize on all of my accounts.

You may also be interested in reading: Password-less Authentication Solutions.