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Phones, computers, and appliances all store vital information. Passwords are one of the first steps to protecting this information. You can make login information more secure by pairing the password – something you know – with another factor, such as something you have or something you are. Something you have might be a smartphone, and you can prove you have the phone by reporting back the PIN code that was sent to it in a text message. Something you are could include your fingerprint or other biometric data. When two of these factors are combined to secure an account, it is called Multifactor Authentication (MFA).

 

  • Why Should I Use Multifactor Authentication (MFA)?

    Multifactor Authentication (MFA) is an important layer of defense beyond your password. It decreases your risk of falling victim to a compromise because criminals need access to two separate items to compromise your account – for instance, your password and your smartphone (to receive the PIN code.) Cyber criminals regularly ‘leak’ (release) login credentials from compromised websites. They then use these leaked login names, e-mail addresses, and passwords to find other accounts using the same credentials. This allows them to easily impersonate you online, gain access to work and personal accounts, sign online service agreements or contracts, engage in financial transactions, or change account information. Enabling MFA makes it more difficult for criminals to use this technique against you because a password would not be sufficient to gain access.

  • What websites and services offer Multifactor Authentication (MFA) for their accounts?

    A few examples of companies that offer MFA for their accounts include:

    • Apple

    • Facebook

    • Gmail/Google

    • Amazon

    • Microsoft /Xbox Live

    • Sony Playstation Network

    Please visit the official websites for these companies for more information about their MFA services.

  • What is a Password Manager and how does it work?

    A password manager is a password-protected application that can run on a computer, smartphone, or in the cloud that securely tracks and stores other passwords. This means you only have to remember one password. Most password managers can also generate a strong, random password for each account. If the password to access the password manager is very strong and unique and the location of the password manager data is protected, this technique can be effective at securing login credentials. When choosing a password manager, ensure it is from a known, trustworthy company with a good reputation. Only use a password manager that stores the information on the device and use it on devices you trust and can keep secure.

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