Two Factor Authentication (2FA) is a security measure that requires two types of identification for account access. Typically, this involves something the user knows (like a password) and something the user has (like a physical device or access to a specific email or phone number). This significantly enhances security compared to using a password alone.
"When logging into a cryptocurrency exchange, a user might be required to enter their password (something they know) and a code sent to their mobile phone (something they have). This is an example of 2FA."
2FA is crucial for securing sensitive accounts, such as those related to cryptocurrency, banking, and personal data. It provides an additional layer of security that makes it much harder for unauthorized users to gain access.
"If a hacker manages to discover a user's password, they still won't be able to access the account without also having access to the user's second factor, such as their mobile phone."
There are several methods of 2FA, including SMS text messages, email messages, phone calls, hardware tokens, and software tokens. Each method has its own strengths and weaknesses in terms of security and convenience.
"Google Authenticator is a software token-based 2FA method. It generates time-based one-time passwords (TOTP) on the user's device, which must be entered along with the user's regular password."
* All terms and definitions may update as the Cryptionary improves.