Two-factor authentication: What is it and why should I use it?

Two-Factor Authentication

Have you ever set up an account or gone to log into an account, and you were prompted to enter a code that was sent to your phone or email? That two-step process is a common type of two-factor authentication, which is a great tool for protecting your information online.

What is Two-Factor Authentication?

Two-factor authentication, also called 2FA, is an added security measure for your online accounts. We live in a time when cybercrime has become more advanced and large companies have had their customers’ information stolen. It is more important than ever to take extra steps to keep your information safe. 2FA is one easy way to do that.

How does two-factor authentication work?

When an account is set up to use two-factor authentication, you will enter your username and password as usual. Next, instead of immediately having access to the account, you will be prompted to provide another piece of information. For the 2FA process TruStone uses, you enter a one-time code that is provided to you via a phone call or text message, and you do this only for the first time you access your account on a new device. With other types of 2FA, you enter something else, like an answer to a security question or a PIN number. Some 2FA systems require software-generated codes or codes provided to you via push notifications. And some accounts may require you to use 2FA every time you log in.

Why should I use two-factor authentication?

You should use two-factor authentication because it is one simple step you can take to keep your information secure online. It is easy to set up and goes a long way in protecting your information from hackers. If you only have a password set up for an account, and that password is leaked, a hacker who gets ahold of it can access whatever information is stored in that account. If you have two-factor authentication set up for the account, though, the hacker would also need the extra piece of information—whether it’s the answer to a security question or a code that was sent to your phone. Without that, the hacker can’t get in.

How do I set up two-factor authentication for my TruStone accounts?

Currently, two-factor authentication is available on TruStone Financial’s mobile app. In the spring, we will be making enhancements to the Online Banking platform, and two-factor authentication will be required when you first log in. You’ll enter your username and password, and then you will be guided to set up 2FA.

If you use Mobile Banking, you have already set up 2FA. You only use 2FA upon your first login on a device, so you’ll only be prompted to provide a code again if you sign in from a different device. If you want to update the phone number and email address you use for 2FA, go to the menu ( ☰ ), click “settings” then “security.” Under “verification options,” you can reset your 2FA settings.

For all of your non-TruStone accounts, log in and go to your security settings to see if you have the option of setting up two-factor authentication.

With just a few minutes of your time, you can greatly increase the security of your accounts by setting up two-factor-authentication. The extra step in your log-in routine will be well worth it if the wrong person ever gets ahold of your passwords.

Editor’s note: some information in this article was sourced from Authy.