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20Jun2013

Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication is another security layer for remote access to websites and networks. With more and more web-based applications requiring more complex passwords, needing to enter some other information may seem like a royal pain. But it provides the protection you need to enhance your data safety.

Two-factor authentication is just what it says. It’s a second password, a reference to a graphic symbol or an answer to a question. While nothing is 100% foolproof, it’s a step to help the system you’re using verify you are you. And for now, it offers protection against hackers when you bank or purchase goods online or use a VPN (virtual private network) to access your work computer or corporate systems and data files over the Internet.

Getting up and running with two-part authentication for business and personal applications is quick and easy.

Many businesses are using mobile phones as the second part of two-factor authentication. When a user accesses a VPN from a laptop or tablet, just to use one example, you enter the normal username and password. Once the network identifies the user, it sends a numeric code to a designated telephone number. For most of us, this is usually a mobile phone. You then have 60 seconds to enter  the numeric code from the computer or tablet you are using.

For personal Internet applications, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, you can go to “settings” to strengthen your security.

In Facebook, for example, you can go to settings and click the Security folder on the top left of your screen. You’ll have nine settings you can adjust. Some of them are two-factor authentication steps. You can also deactivate your account. Going down the left side of the screen, you can edit your privacy preferences and even block or restrict email addresses and invitations for apps.

In LinkedIn, you can access your settings from your picture in the upper right corner and use the drop-down menu to change your privacy and other settings. Twitter’s settings allow you to require having a verification code sent to a telephone number when you sign in.

We can answer your questions about setting up security programs for your business or for you and your family. Leave a comment or send us an email with your questions and concerns – or give us a call at 973-433-6676.

This article was published in Technology Update, the monthly newsletter from Sterling Rose LLC.

  • 20 Jun, 2013
  • Norman Rosenthal
  • 0 Comments
  • access protection, authentication, risk management,

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