Many people are worried nowadays about hackers. Slate.com ran a story recently discussing Matt Honan’s, a writer for Wired Magazine, experiences with being hacked. In August, Honan’s Apple account was hacked, and all of the information on his iPhone, iPad, and Macbook was wiped out. Moreover, the hacker deleted his Google account and hijacked his Twitter account, employing it to post racist and obscene remarks. Something this story puts into sharp focus is the fact that everyone can get hacked.
Luckily, there are several steps people can take that can safeguard themselves against being hacked. One of these is Google’s two-factor authentication.
Two-factor authentication is an approach to protect your accounts by requiring you to key in a code after you enter the password for your accounts. This might seem unnecessary, but if you merely have one password guarding your accounts, this is not enough to deter hackers today. Two-factor authentication can be the difference between your accounts being hacked and keeping your accounts secure.
How it works
Google has enabled two-factor authentication for all of its accounts. It’s easy to use. If you own a smartphone, simply download the app. Then when you log into your accounts you’ll type your password along with the password Google has furnished you with.
Don’t own a smartphone? You may use the two-factor authentication system with your PC or Mac as well. Just log into your Google accounts and Google will text or call you to provide you with your personal code.
Not widely used
Unfortunately, as the Slate story mentions, very few people are using two-factor authentication today. The explanation? It’s a bit of an inconvenience. Most consumers want to access their accounts quickly and easily, and entering an extra code, or waiting for a text, is not something they like. But as Honan’s story proves, any step that can cut off hackers is one that you should consider. Yes, it could take you a couple of seconds longer to log onto your accounts, but isn’t the extra protection that two-step authentication provides worth this small hassle?