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24
Sep

The best thing you can do to protect yourself from hackers

Posted by on in Internet Privacy
  • Hits: 1061

Two-factor authentication: Learn these words well and you'll feel better when giant hacks splatter passwords and email addresses all over the dark web.

Yahoo conceded Thursday that information linked to 500 million user accounts has been leaked by hackers. If you're one of the people affected, there's not much you can do about your email address, phone numbers and date of birth spreading online. But you certainly can take steps to ensure bad actors won't be able to wriggle their way into your accounts using that information.

It's all about two-factor authentication, baby!

It's unfortunate that "two-factor authentication" mostly sounds like a safe-sex practice for robots in an Isaac Asimov novel. (Sometimes it's called "two-step verification" or "multi-factor authentication," which also roll off the tongue.) In reality, this is a concept that anyone with both a smartphone and a Facebook account should be familiar with. 

"Two-factor authentication" sounds like a safe-sex practice for robots in an Asimov novel.

It's simple. In most cases, you'll enable two-factor, give your phone number to a service like Gmail, and that service will text an access code to your device when you input your password to log in. Enter both and you're set.

That additional layer will make all the difference if your password ever slips into the wrong hands: Someone can try getting into your Gmail account, but if they don't physically have your phone to receive the text message from Google, breaking in becomes much harder.

You can try to think of two-factor authentication's weird name like this: When you log into an account, you'll often use one factor to verify your identity by default (a password). That's a fine way to verify your identity if you're using a combination lock to keep someone out of your gym bag, but it's really not good enough for social networks, bank accounts and email addresses that hold some of the most important information about your personal life.

So, saying it with scary blood-writing here: 

 

Not every service will offer you the two-factor option, but many of them have it. You can usually Google something like "Facebook two-factor" to find them for your service. Note that they won't always require a phone number — sometimes they'll email you a code, or ask you to use an app like Google Authenticator. (This is starting to sound intense, but it's not!)

Here's how to use two-factor options in popular apps:

- Chase Bank: If you try to log in via the app, you'll automatically be prompted to receive a message based on the phone number(s) you have on file. Good job, Chase!

- Instagram: Sorry, no two-factor here. (Ugh.) But some accounts have seen the option pop up in their settings, so it's possible that it's coming to a wider audience soon.

So there you have it. Lock your accounts down and rest easy.

 

Source : http://mashable.com/

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