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Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) Meaning

Passwords have become a concept that begins to find a place in every aspect of our lives. We use it while making transactions through ATM, while we are entering internet banking to access bank accounts, while accessing our mobile phone, in e-mail, social media accounts, and even in security systems that we have installed in our home and work places. Many years ago, we had only mail accounts that we could select 4 numbers. However, now, in their passwords, there is inevitably the necessity of lowercase / capital letters, special characters and at least 8 digits.

Although we try to create our passwords unpredictably, there may be some weaknesses in the possession of malicious people. As a result of these, as we do not want;

  • Our e-mail accounts are stolen and transactions can be made on our behalf.
  • It can harm our money and our dignity.
  • Crime can be committed using our name.

However, as the malicious people (hackers) try to access our passwords and get them, security measures are improving as well. Two factor authentication, which is now becoming more widespread and standardized in many areas, namely two step authentication, as we know it, is a successful method in bringing us forward in terms of security.

What does authentication mean?

Definition of authentication is the process of proving who a user or program is accessing a system. Authentication technology provides access control for systems by checking whether a user’s credentials match the credentials of authorized users in the database or on a data authentication server.

Users usually use their passwords, which they set when registering to the system, for authentication in today’s systems. Many companies use authentication to verify users logging onto their website. Without proper security measures, user data, which should be confidential, such as credit and debit card numbers, can be obtained by hackers.

What is Two Factor authentication?

What is Two Factor authentication?The security system, which we still use widely in many of our accounts, only logins with usernames and passwords, takes place in the literature as single-factor authentication. Although this password is unpredictable in this one-step verification system, they can be easily obtained with software such as viruses, worms, keyloggers, spyware, trojans developed by hackers. 2 factor authentication, however, these malicious software is inadequate. Although this security system, which is becoming widespread today, seems to be new, its history is quite old.

It was first patented by Kenneth P. Weiss, now CEO of the US Robotics company, on 30 November 1984. The patent is obtained for the purpose of producing a device that will generate unpredictable codes for that time and includes a calculation mechanism for comparing the unpredictable first code with a second unpredictable code. Nowadays, besides these devices, which are still called “tokens”, they can now be evaluated in this context on smart phones.

What does 2fa mean? What is 2fa?

It is known as Two Factor Authentication and is abbreviated by 2FA. It is used in many online platforms to increase security. If we need to give examples from internet-connected systems, if you activate 2-step verification on your Google account, you will need to login to your account with your password and then enter the two-step verification code generated instantly.

How Authentication Works?

During authentication, the credentials entered by the user are compared with the credentials in the database in the system they want to login. If the credentials match, the user is granted access. Each user has privileges defined in the system. These privileges can restrict the directories that the user can access and the operations they can take.

Types of authentication

We can divide the authentication factors into two parts. Types of authentication are;

1 – Simple Authentication

In this verification factor, the user usually has simple credentials:

  • Username (Usually email address)
  • Password information specified.

This form of authentication is known as simple authentication.

Types of authentication

2 – Strong Authentication

Powerful Authentication technology, which is often used in systems with advanced security measures, offers various forms of authentication as well as the user’s name and password when logging in to the system. The authentication factors used today are:

  • Information factor: The information factor can be authentication information, which consists of information that the user has, including a personal identification number (PIN), a one-time password, a username, password, or the answer to a secret question.
  • Inheritance factor: Inheritance factor can be personal physical information information such as finger or thumb prints, face recognition, retinal scan.
  • Location factor: Although it is not a preferred factor, it allows the user to enter the system only from certain locations.
  • Ownership factor: Ownership factor can be a device / device that can be used to authenticate. For example, there may be a personally defined ID card used when logging into the system.
  • Time factor: Usually used in conjunction with the position factor. For example, if the user has confirmed the latest afternoon in Bangkok, an authentication attempt from America after an hour, depending on the time and location combinations are rejected.

What are examples of two factor authentication?

  1. SMS text: SMS texts are sent to a mobile device associated with an account when the account is accessed from a new device or location, or when people want to reset their passwords. The user receives a code to reset his password and enters it online.
  2. Security questions: Users may be asked to set up and answer security questions when creating an account at startup. These are mostly personal questions that the user can answer. Some may be easier to guess than others, but examples include their mother’s maiden name, the street where they grew up, or the first car they had.
  3. FaceID / Face Unlock: FaceID is used to sign in to Apple iOS devices, Face Unlock is Android equivalent. Biometric factor is completed by face scanning. If the face scan cannot verify a person’s identity, the device must enter a type of password to authenticate the user.
  4. Hardware tokens: Hardware tokens are usually provided by a business or financial institution so individuals can securely access systems remotely. It is a keychain-size physical device that usually produces an authentication key in the form of a number or letter. Users enter the key after the first login to access the system.

How do I get two factor authentication?

In many applications we use today, two step authentication is performed. Let’s illustrate how a few of them work.

2 Factor Authentication Apple

If we need to put it in context, Apple also uses two factor authentication, but it does it in a slightly different way. Not using third-party methods to generate a code, Apple sends code to another device you pair with. After logging in, you receive a 6-digit code on your device and add it to your new device.Goo

Gmail Two Factor Authentication

Gmail Two Factor AuthenticationMany of us have a Gmail email address, and there are important messages and information. This is especially important for users using the Android operating system. If this feature is what Google calls ‘2-Step Verification,’ the goal is, as Google says, “to create an extra layer of security.” If your Google account doesn’t have 2 factor authentication (2FA)  and you want to take this security measure, you can get it right away by clicking the link. Every time you sign in to Google, you enter your password as usual. Then a code will be sent to your phone via text message, voice call or our mobile app. If you have a Security Key, you can plug it into your computer’s USB port.

Twitter Two Factor Authentication

Although it has not been used as widely as Facebook or Instagram lately, it is a fact that Twitter has a large user base. If you do not want your account to be taken over by others, go to Twitter and enable the ‘Login Confirmation’ option on the Security tab in the ‘Settings and Privacy’ section immediately. This way, only people who know your username and password will not be able to access your Twitter account.

Two Factor Authentication Instagram

If you are using Instagram, the way to protect your account is actually very easy. Click on the ‘Privacy and Security’ tab in the Settings section. When you click on the ‘Two Factor Authentication’ option located here, you will be presented with two options as SMS or application. You can take your two-factor security measure by choosing one of the two. If you are wondering how to get a password through the application, you can check out our news.

Facebook 2 Factor Authentication

You can use Facebook’s two-factor auth feature to secure your account and not leave your business to chance. As soon as you activate this feature, you will be asked to enter the SMS password sent to your mobile phone as a second security measure after logging into your account with your Facebook password. To do this, after logging into the Facebook application, select Settings and Privacy from the settings tab and select Settings, Security and Login, Use Two-Factor Authentication, Start and Short Message options, respectively.

How to turn on two factor authentication iphone?

How to turn on two factor authentication iphone?Enter Settings to enable two-step verification on iOS 11. Tap your name at the top of the page on the Settings screen, and then select Password and Security. Click the Turn on Two-Factor Validation button located here.

On the screen that opens, you will see a page with information about the two-factor auth process. Click Use Two-Factor Authentication. This screen gives you the option to use a phone number that Apple detected based on your account, or to enter a new phone number you want to use instead.

Verification codes are sent to the number you signed up with, and you are asked if you want to receive them as a text message or an automated phone call. After setting this, you will be asked to enter the password for your Apple ID followed by the six-digit code. The 2FA authentication feature will be fully activated if you enter the password and code correctly.

Microsoft Two Factor Authentication

To activate the two-step verification system for all of your Microsoft accounts, login to login.live.com and sign in with your Microsoft account. From there, go to the Security Information section and enter the “Activate Two-Step Authentication System” section and follow the directions.

Two-Factor Auth Linkedin

Click the Security Settings article on the Account and Settings menu on LinkedIn. Here you will find that the “Two-step confirmation for login” section is marked off by default. Turn it on to activate. By registering your phone number in the system, you can have the activation codes sent to your phone as SMS.

WhatsApp 2 Factor Auth

In order to use this feature, make sure that the WhatsApp application you used first is up to date. If your WhatsApp application is up to date, you can seamlessly activate this feature in WhatsApp > Settings > Account > Two-step verification section. Here, you can create a 6-digit password by touching the enable sign and then activate the security by entering the e-mail address you used.

Two Factor Authentication Fortnite

Two Factor Authentication FortniteTwo-Step Authentication prompts you to enter an extra code when logging into your account, thereby preventing others from accessing your account without your permission. Two-Stage Authentication supports the use of the verification application or method of verification by email address.

In the “Account Settings” section, click on the “Password and Security” tab to view security options. Select the desired two-step method by clicking on “Enable 2 Authentication Application” or “Enable Verification Email” under “Two-Stage Authentication” at the bottom of the page.

Turning On Amazon Two-Factor Authentication

To enable Two-Step Verification, use Settings > Login Settings > Advanced Security Settings > Edit from Seller Central and click Start.

On the Amazon website or the Amazon app on your phone, you need to log in to your Amazon account. After logging in, go to your Account > Login and security section and click the Edit button next to “Advanced Security Settings”. Click “Get Started” next to the “Two-Step Verification” header at the top of the page. Now you can choose how you want to get your 2FA codes.

Turning On Amazon Two-Factor Authentication

The first step in the process is to install your authentication application, which we will assume you have already done. The second step is to open your authentication app and add an account. If you’re using the Amazon website: Hold your phone’s camera up to the QR code displayed by Amazon and follow the instructions in your app. If you are using the Amazon application on your phone: Copy the long code displayed and manually add it to your authentication application. Finally, type the code generated by your authentication application into the “Enter OTP” text box on the Amazon page, and then click “Verify code and continue”.

Why is 2FA important?

In previous years, what we could do to protect our accounts from hackers was limited. The most common of these was the use of hard, complex passwords containing different characters. Moreover, we would try to reduce the risk by not using this password in other accounts. But what would happen next? We created so many different passwords that we would eventually forget them. Or we wouldn’t remember the passwords we gave to the accounts. Application developers prefer the two-step authentication system to easily protect users from hack attacks. With two steps, it is not enough for a hacker to know your password in the authenticating system, but also need to reach your mobile phone or security key.

Is 2FA safe?

Is 2FA safe?Access to criminals is restricted by using two-factor (and multi-factor) authentication to protect people’s data. But in fact, two-factor authentication can still be made vulnerable. So How? Criminals use one bad tool that no technology can protect. This tool is social engineering.

Phishing can be used to attract victims to a fake login page. When the victim enters their credentials, the attacker transmits them to the actual login page, thereby triggering the numerical code that sends the message or mail to the victim, or in some cases the 2FA procedure generated by an authentication application.

Some 2FA tokens are so short and limited that they can be obtained with brute force. A four-digit token will not work if the attacker has time to apply brute force.

In some sign-ins, the user is given the option to sign in using a third-party account, and by using this option, bypass the 2FA procedure. The best-known example is “Login with your Facebook account” used for specific sites and apps. In this case, an attacker can take over other accounts after learning your Facebook credentials.

2FA Authentication Types

Basic Authentication

HTTP basic authentication is a simple form of authentication where a server can request authentication information from a client. The browser sends the authentication information to the server in an Authorization header. Authentication information is masked with base64. If a browser makes an anonymous request to the protected directory, the server sends an HTTP response with status code 401, a reason statement indicating the authentication error, and a WWW-Authenticate header. For example:

HTTP/1.1 401 Access Denied
WWW-Authenticate: Basic realm=”Read Only”

Forms Authentication

Forms authentication uses cookies in the browser for verification. If there is no cookie information, the user has to login to the system. When the cookies in the browser of a logged-in user expire, the system redirects the user back to the login page. If we clear the cookies in our browser, we will log out of all accounts that we have logged in so far. Forms authentication has no standard. We can say that this authentication method is a verification style generally developed by programmers. The adjustments for forms authentication are as follows:

<authentication mode="Forms">
<forms loginUrl="login.aspx"
cookieless="UseCookies" protection="All"
name="authname" />
</authentication>

When the browser connects to the web server, it sends the “WWW-Authenticate: Basic” message in the HTTP header to the server to which it connects. It sends your login credentials to the server using a lightweight hiding technique called base64 encoding. Although your information is masked with base64, base64 is not an encryption tool.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Two-Factor Authentication

Benefits of using two-factor authentication

  • No additional tokens are required because the mobile device is always at hand.
  • The verification code changes constantly, which is more secure than the single-factor login password.

Disadvantages of using two-factor authentication

  • The mobile phone must have a network connection during authentication, otherwise the message containing the password will not be easily accessible.
  • You share your mobile number, which is part of your private life, with one party, and this may result in unwanted advertising messages in the future.
  • There is a delay in the delivery of SMS, which can cause a waste of time.

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) Meaning

Updated: 16 November 2021, 20:51