By Cody Lents, Partner and Customer Steward at COVI, Inc.
Passwords are the barrier between you and your personal information. Ensuring your passwords are strong and incorporating a two-factor authentication (2FA) process is critical to securing your accounts and preventing a breach of your most important data.
Many online accounts and services now offer 2FA, which means that in addition to entering your password, a second verification is required for you to log in. This usually happens with a code sent via text message or email, which will require you to manually enter that code on the site. Even if someone has stolen your password, they can’t get into your account without access to that code. This makes two-factor authentication even more important – because if you lose access to an account, it can cost you time and money.
2FA protects user credentials from password guessing software, and it eliminates the collateral damage from successful phishing attempts. 2FA also includes an additional level of protection for consumers. Make sure you are taking advantage of any notifications or alerts set up on your accounts for banks, credit card companies, and emails. Those notifications–along with 2FA setup–can help you stop any targeted attacks before they become a reality.
When coming up with a password, it’s also extremely important to follow guidelines to ensure your password is safe while utilizing 2FA. Experts suggest using special characters, two capital letters, and at least six letters and numbers (but not in these sequences). Password quality is critical when preventing a breach of your account. You should ensure you are not using something that can easily be guessed – like names of family, friends, or other sequenced digits.
The key takeaway for stronger passwords is that length and unpredictability are more important than odd characters. It’s important now more than ever to have a strong password while also incorporating two-factor authentication. 2FA is an essential security tool, but it becomes more effective when it’s utilized as part of a coordinated strategy of security processes and policies. Covi’s systems and processes always incorporate 2FA – to ensure your accounts are safe and secure now and in the future.