Two factor authentication

When ever we login to our online account on internet. Be it Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Online banking (SBI, PNB, ICICI, HDFC). If our username and password is leaked. Then other person can login to your account without any restriction, and do all the harm.

That is where 2FA can be a lifesaver for you. Most of the websites and apps provide a way to enable 2FA.

What Is Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)?

Two-Factor authentication also known as 2FA is a second level verification of user’s identity. When you login with your username and password, you will receive an OTP on your phone. The website or app will ask you to enter that OTP, then only you will be logged in to your account.

2FA image

OTP via text message is one of the way in 2FA. There are many other ways of 2FA.

Types of 2FA

1. Text message 2FA

This is the most common and basic way of 2FA, most of us registered our phone number with bank account, Aadhaar card, Google, Facebook accounts.

So when we enable 2FA on any app, by default 2FA mode is text message. But we can choose other modes.

Google account OTP

Example: 2FA is mandatory by RBI for DEBIT, CREDIT cards payments, when ever we make online payment using cards, we receive an OTP text message to carry out transaction.

SBI payment OTP

2. Voice Call 2FA

Some websites give you the option of receiving OTP on a phone call. Only difference is that instead of a text message, a computer based automatic call will tell you the OTP.

Voice call OTP

3. Authenticator app 2FA

For this you need to install an authenticator app, It produces a new numeric code every 30-seconds. the most popular apps are Google authenticator, Microsoft authenticator.

Microsoft authenticator

When we enable 2FA for any website or App, the website will show you a code and QR code, just scan that QR code with authenticator app.

Google authenticator

Microsoft authenticator

4. Push Notification for 2FA

In this you need an app which receive push notifications and you should be connected to internet as well. Most common example is Google, when ever your login with your Gmail account in other computer.

You see this type of prompt on Google app to confirm whether you are trying to login on other device or not. If you press YES, then you will be logged in to your account on the other computer.

OKTA is popular in this domain and provides an app for push notifications based authenticator app.

4. Hardware Tokens for 2FA

Instead of software authenticator app, a special small hardware device will be given to you. It produces a new numeric code every 30-seconds. It is mostly used by software companies, and security agencies.

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