When it comes to simple security measures that everyone can take to protect their data, two-factor authentication is a must. The system sends users a secure code that only works for a short amount of time, and that code can be sent in many forms, including text, phone, and email. Once you’ve verified a device, you won’t need to do it again. But any other device that tries to log into your accounts will have another hurdle to jump through.
Here are three essential uses for two-factor authentication:
- Your Apple Account
- Go to Apple’s My Apple ID page and log in.
- In the Security section, click “Edit.”
- Switch the Two-Factor Authentication feature on.
- In this section of settings you should also add the phone number you’ll use for verification. Then select whether you want to receive codes via text message or automated phone call.
Your Microsoft Account
- Go to the Security basics page and sign in with your Microsoft account.
- Select more security options.
- Under Two-step verification, choose Set up two-step verification to turn it on, or choose Turn off two-step verification to turn it off.
- Follow the instructions.
Your Google Account
- Go to your Google Account.
- On the left navigation panel, click Security.
- On the Signing in to Google panel, click 2-Step Verification.
- Click Get started and complete each of the steps.
- Choose your second verification step. Select text message, call, or other.
- You can also set up a backup verification step, or another way to get into your account should you forget your password. In the 2-Step Verification step, select Get Started, Choose another option, and then add an alternative step.
You’ll save yourself from a lot of potential harm by adding another layer of security to these three profiles. If you’re interested in doing the same for other sites, we would definitely recommend it. This piece from Wired is a great primer for all things two-factor authentication.
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