Why 2FA is the best way to protect
2FA is a two-factor authentication and it quickly became the new standard for cybersecurity, and in most modern websites and on the Internet, including cryptocurrency exchanges.
5-10 years ago, we could well protect our account with a modest password to protect accounts.
However, over the following years, it became clear that passwords are easy to guess or steal, and additional protection is needed.
This article addresses the question of why 2FA quickly gained its popularity, and also discusses the best protection techniques that you should use to protect your online accounts and crypto assets.
The main idea of 2FA is to find another way to verify the user’s identity outside the password. To date, 2FA is everywhere.
If you ever entered the 6-digit PIN that the company sent you by email or sent to your phone number, you used two-factor authentication.
Increasing the security of your account and introducing more obstacles with the help of captcha and other confirmations are already tired of the order.
Many users are tired of these extra steps. This is a common cybersecurity procedure that is used universally.
It is believed that ‘users do not need more security than they consider necessary.’ Accordingly, an alternative was proposed – 2FA.
That is, most users understand why 2FA is important, and they like 2FA. However, they want this procedure to be as unobtrusive as possible.
The result is a system that can be very secure, but in most cases it sacrifices security in the interest of user convenience.
Many users believe that since they have enabled 2FA, their account is now impenetrable. It is not true. Within 2FA, there are different levels of effectiveness.
Top 2FA types currently known
Different types of 2FA provide different levels of security. The best types of 2FAs are those in which the user controls the entire authentication process without using a third party.
The fact is that at any time when an intermediary is involved in the authentication process, it is a good opportunity for a hacker to steal data from an account.
Let’s look at the best and worst 2FA types.
2FA SMS: the worst account protection option
Hackers prove over and over again that compromising a 2FA text message is very easy.
Usually, the hacking system is extremely simple: attackers call a mobile operator, and fraudulently gain access to an account from them.
Hackers can read incoming text messages. Interception of the SMS 2FA code gives attackers access to the account.
SMS is the least secure form of 2FA, but it is also the most popular.
Cryptocurrency exchangers and other service providers that offer SMS verification do this because it is the fastest and easiest option for users.
It also allows the company to request phone number information by collecting more data about its customers.
If you have the opportunity to choose how you want to receive 2FA codes, you should avoid SMS, as this is the least secure.
2FA Email: Medium Security
Email is a slightly better option than SMS for authentication codes. This is because accessing your email is not as easy as calling a customer service representative.
However, email can still be attacked because it is connected to a third-party provider and your computer could be compromised, including email forwarding schemes or screen readers.
Ideally, you need something that is faster and more dynamic than email.
Authenticator App: Best 2FA Way
Authenticator apps on your smartphone are probably the best choice for most users.
These include codes that change every 30 seconds. This dynamic one-time code switch makes authenticator apps one of the best 2FA types.
Google Authenticator and Authy are the two most popular and reliable options for authentication applications.
Most cryptographic service providers prefer authenticator applications.
Just scan the barcode on the service website and enter the dynamic code that appears in your application. That’s all, nothing else to do.
Best 2FA: FIDO Hardware Keys
Like hardware wallets, hardware authentication keys turn the authentication problem into a physical device.
You can connect a device, such as Yubikey, to your computer’s USB port to access your favorite websites.
This is by far the most secure since an attacker will need to have your physical hardware key to access.
However, this is the most cumbersome option, as you always need to keep the key with you.
Remember, 2FA is always good
The best 2FA types make it very difficult for attackers to access your account.
However, any type of 2FA adds another layer of security beyond your password.
Thus, if the site offers 2FA even in the form of SMS, you should enable it.
Keep your backup codes / private keys
If you lose access to your phone or email, you won’t be able to get 2FA authentication codes.
For this reason, it is always important that you keep copies of your private keys and backup codes somewhere safe. Thus, you can regain access when you receive a new phone.
This should be taken for granted, but never give your private keys to anyone else.
Likewise, do not give anyone access to your cellular accounts or authenticator codes.
Common frauds include a support representative who calls you and asks you to send you a code that you should then read to them.
Once you understand that the friendly customer service representative was really a scam, your account will already be hacked. Do not exchange codes or passwords over the phone, never!
Everyone should configure 2FA for all their online services, this applies not only to cryptocurrency platforms.
2FA introduces a new level of access control that makes it difficult for attackers to access your accounts.
Some forms of 2FA are better than others, but any 2FA is better than none at all. The best 2FA types make it easy to find your codes, making them dynamic and immune to external interference.
These achievements in the field of convenience and safety are explained by why 2FA is quickly becoming so popular on the Internet.