What is Two-Factor Authentication(2FA)?
Technology is growing, and the mass adoption of cryptocurrency will be following suit. As the crypto ecosystem is nurtured by developers and investors cybercrime will skyrocket with it. Therefore it is very important to be up to date with your security to prevent becoming a statistic. Two-Factor Authentication(2FA) is a way to prove who you are and if you are not already using it not you have come to the right place.
2FA makes the user confirm themselves in two different manners. The first one being your password which should be the most familiar. The second way of authenticating yourself is a little more in-depth because there are a few options. The importance of using 2FA cannot be stressed enough. If a hacker manages to crack your password there is nothing else stopping them from getting into your account. 2FA adds another layer of security because you must authenticate yourself in two different ways one being the password to gain access to your account. Lastly, whenever you use 2FA you should always have the ability to generate backup codes in case you lose access to your authenticator. Treat these codes as if they were seed phrases, and guard them securely!
Different Types of 2FA
Let's start by getting into the different types of 2FA. One of the most common methods is Short Message Service (SMS) meaning receiving a text or call to your phone as your second factor. The problem with this is that a SIM swap can happen which is a form of identity theft in which they have access to your mobile number thus allowing them to see the text or call. Consequently, all your crypto can be wiped clean, and due to this, SMS 2FA is the least recommended 2FA. The next two methods that will be presented are the most recommended for 2FA.
The convenient, common method would be to use an app 2FA since only a phone or tablet is needed to do this method. The reason this is safer than SMS is that the hacker would need to gain access to your phone, or tablet itself to be able to authenticate as yourself.
- Authy(Linux, Windows, macOS, Iphone, Android)
- Google Authenticator (iOS, Android)
- Microsoft Authenticator ( iOS, Android)
- Lastpass Authenticator (Browser Extension, iOS, Android, Windows Phone)
I personally like Authy the best since if you were to lose your phone it's easier to recover your account on another device compared to other authenticators. You can also register more than one device making it an optimal authenticator app.
Physical Hardware Key
The last, but most secure 2FA is a physical device that is used to authenticate yourself for the second factor. This method is the most secure since the only way to authenticate yourself is with the actual physical device in your hands. With a quick google search, you can find numerous different options for physical hardware devices. Always make sure to do research and only buy from a reputable vendor.