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18 February 2019

Why you need two-factor authentication

Everyone knows online security is a hot issue. Having personal email or online accounts hacked is one thing, but criminals having access to retail accounts, with bank details, store credits and loyalty points is another thing entirely.

This is why the giants of technology – Google, Twitter, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft – as well as many retailers, have given their users and customers another level of protection: two-factor authentication.

What is two-factor authentication?

Two-factor authentication – or 2FA – is an extra level of security for online accounts. You’ve probably experienced it already, when social media platforms and online email accounts request a phone number. This is to protect your account from attacks by requiring additional log-in verification.

How does two-factor authentication work?

A username and password is an example of single-factor authentication, but passwords can be easily hacked or stolen. So an additional form of verification, such as a code or personalised question, can be entered by the user to ensure that the person trying to access the account is the true account holder.

These are sometimes generated by an electronic token, card or USB stick, but the most effective way to deliver this second verification is via an SMS to your mobile phone.

Benefits of SMS 2FA include:

  • Convenience, as most people have their phone on them at all times
  • The ability to generate any number of dynamic passcodes
  • The option to ask various personalised questions
  • Account lockouts after a certain number of unsuccessful attempts
  • Extra security, since users are less likely to misplace or damage their phone

How can two-factor authentication benefit your customers?

User confidence is paramount when it comes to doing business online, and the security of customer accounts is essential.

Using 2FA ensures that customers know your business cares about their security. It provides another layer of protection for customer financial details. Using SMS confirmation also means that customers don’t need to carry around a keychain or code-generating token. They merely have to open a text and insert the information.

How can two-factor authentication benefit your business?

User confidence is also essential for retaining customers and gaining new ones. The public must be able to trust your organisation, and technologies like 2FA can instil that confidence.

Security measures like 2FA also help ensure that customer information isn’t stolen, and your company isn’t to blame. No company wants their name associated with leaked or hacked passwords, and no company wants to deal with the legal nightmares and lost profits that accompany an online security breach.

Make two-factor authentication work for your business

When money and privacy are concerned, your business can never have enough coverage. Protect your customers, protect your profits, and protect your brand with SMS-based online security provided by MessageMedia.

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