Google Authenticator and Why You Should Care

If you have a smartphone (you likely do), you also have an excellent password that is 100% safe from sabotage (you likely don’t).

You’re also likely seeing more of 2FA – short for two-factor authentication – whenever you shop online or in general, work online. 2FA offers you an extra layer of online security.

I’ve been meaning to write about 2FA but got sidetracked then just the other day I was asked if it’s worth the bother of downloading it so the short answer is, Yes! Here’s how it works: You’ll log into a service with your username and password on your computer, just like you always do. Then, you’ll either receive a notification on your smartphone — sometimes a text message containing a code, sometimes an app asking for verification — or you’ll be prompted to plug in a USB security key.

Once you enter the code, approve the login or plug in the key, you can access your account. Easy peasy for you but virtually impossible for a cyber-criminal to access your phone. You’ll need to do this only once for each account on each device you regularly use.

Here’s the catch so bear this in mind when considering using 2FA: you’ll have to reveal your cell phone number. If you’re comfortable with potentially being spammed in the future with text messages, it’s all good. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that would happen but just be aware that it might, who knows who could have access to your number.

That said, the best and easiest way is to have the 2FA app on your phone. I access my affiliate programs and trade crypto currencies from time to time and always use Google Authenticator which gives me a code whenever I need that extra layer of security, it’s peace of mind and it’s free. If you’re not using 2FA you might want to consider it. If you’re on iOS go to the App store or Google play on Android and you can download it there. Here’s a link to more information.

Hope this helps.

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