Two-step verification, also known as two-step authentication or two-factor authentication, is a security system that adds an additional step when verifying the identity of a user. Also, this concept is known as 2FA, the acronym for Two factor authentication.
The history of this identification method is long, dating back to the 1980s. We know that it has been used for a long time and that it has historically been implemented in very everyday actions. A sample of this are credit or debit card payments. Obviously, the first factor to prove that you are the rightful owner of the card used is owning it. The second, know the PIN. In this way, in case of theft, there is no use having the card if the security number is not known.
Currently they are used various processes to add that second factor to a login. For example, numeric or alphanumeric codes are common. These are sent through systems that it is difficult for another person to access, such as text messages, calls or emails. It is normal to see this type of verification present in online digital services. On the other hand, there are two-step authentication systems that use personal questions to check who is behind the screen, very common when accessing operating systems or email accounts. Biometric verification, using a facial scanner or a fingerprint reader, has become especially necessary in mobile payments and banking applications. And, although employees to a lesser extent, there are second factors related to location or temporality, ideal for workers’ access to different areas of a company.
The main purpose of two-step verification is to increase security when logging into a service, digital platform, or similar processes. Therefore, there are a large number of providers that allow their customers to activate it. Facebook has enabled it both on its main social network, such as Instagram or WhatsApp. Google, for its part, makes it extensible to all its services and Apple links it to the use of iCloud. As is logical, in each case, the system for obtaining double identity verification may vary, although companies allow you to choose between different methods.
We cannot ignore that, despite the great advantages related to security and privacy, two-factor authentication also has some disadvantages. This is because, in most cases, user is required to perform more than one action, like checking your mobile or opening your inbox. Additionally, it is important to recognize that not all two-step verification methods are equally effective. However, for the sake of safety, all these inconveniences should be the lesser evil.
As a summary, if you are a regular user of online services, we recommend that you investigate how to activate two-step verification. Thanks to it, your account will be protected from possible attacks and your data will be safe.
How to activate 2FA in the main online services
Next, we will tell you how you can activate two-step verification and strengthen the security of your accounts in different services.
Two-Step Authentication on Facebook
- Open the application and go to the main menu of the app.
- Open the section Settings.
- Accede to Security and Login and select the option Use two-factor authentication.
- Complete the process to activate it.
Two-step verification on Instagram
- Enter the menu Settings, located in the side panel available in your profile section.
- Go into Security and then tap on Two-Factor Authentication.
- Tap on Get Started to start activation.
Activate double factor in Google
- Access My Account, the Google account manager. You must do it from the browser.
- Open the section Security.
- Locate the option 2-Step Verification. Open it and complete the steps by starting the process with the button Get started.
How to activate two-step verification in WhatsApp
- Open the general settings of the application and open the section Account.
- Click on the option Two-step verification.
- Use the button Enable to start activation.
TikTok: turn on 2-step verification
- Go to the TikTok settings and open the section Security.
- Look for the option 2-step verification.
- Choose your identity confirmation method. TikTok allows the use of text messages or emails. Tap on Turn on to enable two-factor authentication.