2FA: Random Tech Stuff Part 3
The world of tech is quite bizarre. Even to a techie. Definitely to a non-techie. As a resident Luddite (non-techie), this is Part 3 of sharing IT things I just happened to stumble upon.
One of my more negative character traits is impatience. While I cheerfully admit to having more patience than I used to, honestly, that is not saying a lot. I have little patience for time wasters and no patience for speedbumps that get in my way.
I absolutely 1000000% detest passwords and PINs. Love the concept; understand the reason for it. I just can’t remember them all. It seems everybody wants stronger and stronger, uppercase, lowercase, numbers, special characters. And then they want me to change them regularly. And if I forget, lordy. I am stopped dead in my tracks. And must immediately pivot to handle mind-numbing boring housekeeping duty.
So, the first day I was introduced to the 2FA thingy, of course, I yelled. Two? F%&$ Aaafff! (Do you know what I mean?)
While it is clearly obvious, I prefer salty language; I am talking about the two-factor-authentication we are forced to use. Nothing is simple anymore. Enter a password. Then wait for a text, phone or email message to give you another number to move forward. GRRRRRR.
Is designed to prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to an account with nothing more than a stolen password. Users may be at greater risk of compromised passwords than they realize, particularly if they use the same password on more than one website. Downloading software and clicking on links in emails can also expose an individual to password theft.
Two-factor authentication is a combination of two of the following:
• Something you know (your password)
• Something you have (such as a text with a code sent to your smartphone or another device, or a smartphone authenticator app)
• Something you are (biometrics using your fingerprint, face, or retina)
2FA is not just applied to online contexts. It is also at work when a consumer is required to enter their zip code before using their credit card at a gas pump or when a user is required to enter an authentication code from an RSA SecurID key fob to log in remotely to an employer’s system.
The Annoying Part about 2FA
Despite the ‘slight inconvenience’ of a longer log-in process, security experts recommend enabling 2FA wherever possible: email accounts, password managers, social media applications, cloud storage services, financial services, and more. For those of us with a low level of patience, this is not a ‘slight inconvenience.’
However, as low on patience as I might be, I also realize it is all up to me. Because being hacked, phished, or taken advantage of will cost me way more time than just the minute or two, I must take in the 2FA process.
And that’s my point.
WE are responsible for our safety. The 2FA is just a tool. WE are responsible for our customers’ data. The 2FA is just a tool. You and I both understand that. And so do your customers. This 2FA is a reality. One day, it could move to 3FA. Whatever. We all have an obligation to keep ourselves and our customer’s data private and secure.
Why should you care?
I share this story because many of us have no idea about what we have no idea about. And today, in the online digital world we play in, ignorance is just not an acceptable excuse. Be aware and be informed! Your business depends on it.