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Two-step Verification

Read up about this handy little security measure


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in life


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The simple fact is that most people do not have enough security while logging in. We all should have complex, unique passwords but in reality a lot of us use extremely simple passwords to secure our accounts. Some of the most common passwords are ‘123456’ and ‘password’, which are extremely easy to guess. Not only that, but about 70% of people use the same password for all of their different accounts which means that if one account is breached, they all are.

Making your log-in more secure

So how can we make logging in even more secure? First things first, we should all use complex passwords. A complex password is generally 8 characters or more with uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and/or symbols. This makes your password more unique and will increase the likelihood that your password couldn’t be guessed by a human or a computer program.

An additional approach is to use “two-step verification” to sign in. This method involves adding another step to logging in. After you successfully enter your password you will be asked for a code. This can be one of a few things:

  • A PIN number from a code card you already have
  • A number which will be text to your phone
  • A random number inside an app on your phone

Different websites have different approaches to this but they are all similar. The security of your account is backed up by something else that only you have. Whether it’s your code card, your phone or an app. This means the likelihood of someone having both your password and the code is dramatically reduced, and your account is more secure.

How can I get two-step authentication?

The good news is that this feature has already been rolled out across many websites and is easy to use. While it does add another small step to your sign-in, it means your data is locked down. In this day and age of account hacks and malicious software it’s great to know you are doing more to protect yourself.

Once you sign in securely, you can have your device/browser remember your sign in. This means you won’t have to do it every single time you sign in. You will only be asked when you sign-in on a new device.

Here is a list of services offering two-step authentication. We would highly recommend reading through their information pages if you are serious about using any of the services. They may differ from each other and if you lose your code card/phone it may mean you can temporarily lose access to your account.

A more comprehensive list of services with two-step verification can be found on this website.

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Published February 9th, 2015
Last updated October 28th, 2015
Tags online safety passwords safer internet day
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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