What is Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)?
2FA prevents anyone from accessing online services (your email account, your social media account, etc… ) unless you’ve provided more proof than just your password.
Typically 2FA sends a unique code to your mobile number (using SMS messaging) or a link to another online service (such as your email).
For example, here’s what happens if I try to log into my Gmail account after enabling 2FA:
And when I click next, here’s what happens:
I’ll have to enter a code received by SMS text message to finish logging in.
While you can use SMS-based 2FA, it might also be risky if governments or hackers get a hold of your phone.
Of course, SMS is still better than no 2FA at all! But if you can, download an app that can generate codes on your device. We recommend Google Authenticator (Android here, Apple here).
What services can do this?
It’s not just Gmail. You can check out which services offer 2FA by clicking here. The ones you may find most usefu are:
Facebook (guide here)
Instagram (guide here)
Twitter (guide here)
Gmail (guide here)
Outlook (guide here, you’ll need Windows 10 or higher)
Yahoo (guide here)
Skype (guide here)
WhatsApp (guide here)