Tip 1: Use Multi-factor Authentication
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a global effort to help everyone stay safe online. From the phone in your pocket to the smart speaker in your living room, technology is becoming more intertwined with our lives each day. And while technology keeps evolving at the speed of sound, cybercriminals are working just as hard to find ways to compromise technology and disrupt personal and business life. This month, we’ll be bringing you new tips to empower you to protect your information and finances online. We’re going to kick things off with multi-factor authentication (MFA), an important security measure.
Did you know…
- There are over 15 billion passwords for sale by cybercriminals on the dark web.
- 81% of breaches are due to stolen or weak passwords
- 99.9% of account hacks could have been blocked by MFA.
What is MFA?
MFA requires anyone logging into an account online to go through a two-step process to prove their identity. This makes it twice as hard for hackers to gain access to your accounts.
How does MFA work?
First, you log into your account with a password. Second, you take an extra step to verify yourself, such as entering a code from a text or email or using a biometric like facial recognition.
What can be used for MFA?
- An extra PIN (personal identification number)
- An additional code emailed or texted to you
- A biometric identifier like facial recognition or a fingerprint
- The answer to an extra security question, such as, “What is your childhood best friend’s name?”
- A secure token, which is a separate piece of hardware like a key fob
What types of accounts offer MFA?
While not every account has an option for MFA, it’s becoming increasingly common. It’s available for most accounts that hold either valuable financial or personal information like financial institutions, online stores and social media platforms. Any place online that is storing your personal information (especially financial information), or any account that can be compromised and used to trick or defraud someone else should be protected with MFA. The bottom line is when you use MFA, a cybercriminal can’t get into your account with just your password alone.