2 Factor Authentication: How it Works Detail Analysis

2 Factor Authentication or simply 2FA is a form of security that helps protect your accounts and devices. In general, individuals only use the common form of authentication which covers the use of a password and an account name. However, in the current times, many people realize the need to improve their online security.

2 Factor Authentication
Credit: Brian Ronald / Wikipedia

Therefore, many people are resorting to using an additional layer of security to make it difficult for hackers and other people to access their accounts. 2FA is, by far, the most common form of additional security that people are using nowadays. Here are the details on how the approach works and how it can be beneficial to you.

Why You Need 2 Factor Authentication

There are several reasons as to why you may need to adopt this form of additional security. Here are some of the primary reasons:

  1. Protection against common forms of attacks. Common types of cyber attacks include phishing and spamming attacks. There are different types of phishing and spamming attacks. However, one common thing about all these types of attack is that those who carry them out take advantage of simple security mistakes of users. For example, spammers can access your account if you are careless enough to respond to their messages or click on the links that they include in their spam messages. Similarly, phishing attacks succeed because targets fail to exercise enough precaution. However, by using 2FA, you can go a long way in protecting yourself against phishing and spamming attacks.
  2. People are increasingly working from remote locations. As many people work remotely, companies find it necessary to improve their overall security systems. One of the best ways of improving the security systems that companies use is to safeguard the login details that employees use. Using 2FA is the best way of improving the security of employees.

How 2 Factor Authentication Works

The two-factor authentication gives your account more security by asking you two factors for identifying your identity.

There are several factors that you may use as part of the 2FA system. However, some of the factors that you may commonly have to use in forming the system are as follows:

  • Something you can identify such as your username and password or some other Personal Identification Number (PIN).
  • Something you possess such as a smartphone app you can use to verify and approve any request for authentication. Others include a fob or an ATM card.
  • A part of you such as your retina scan, fingerprint, or other biometric that you can also use to authenticate your account.

How to get the factors

There are many ways you can get the factors you need to verify your account. These are some of the most common ones:

  1. Push Notifications

With this authentication app, you will receive notifications on your wearable or smartphone if there is any request for authentication. Some of the things involved in the notification include the IP address, location, the application used, and other data that you will need to deny or approve any authentication request. Without supplying the information sent to you, access cannot be granted.

  1. SMS Passcodes

The app can also generate passcodes that are unique and new whenever you are prompted for the two-factor authentication. You will need it together with your username and password to gain access to your account.

  1. Hardware token

With this token, you have the freedom to generate a new passcode whenever you get the prompt for authentication.  If you press a button on the token, it will automatically generate a code you can use for authentication. Getting this device will show that you have taken the right step in the right direction towards ensuring the security of your accounts and information.

  1. Phone callbacks

This authentication technique is a bit different from the other authentication factors. This does not require using any passcode. If you want to access your account; you will receive a phone call. Pick the call and press any key on the phone to authenticate your account. You will then be given access to the account. By far, this is the simplest form of 2 Factor Authentication.


In conclusion, 2 Factor Authentication gives you increased control over your account. You can use any of the different methods to control the security of your accounts. Therefore, the system helps you to protect your account against possible external phishing and spamming attacks.

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2 Factor Authentication: How it Works Detail Analysis