Do you have 2FA enabled for all of your online accounts?
We get asked a lot of security questions here at the Vault. Oh, wait, you thought we were a marketing firm? Interesting. So did we, lol. The two however have never been more interconnected than they are today. The vast majority of SMB clients today are interested primarily in securing (and sometimes sharing secure access to) their online accounts. Whether those accounts be bank accounts, social media accounts or project dashboards. Today, we need for ALL OF THEM to be secure. In which case I’ve got some VERY good news for you. And some VERY bad news for those that work to compromise our online accounts. It’s called 2FA. Yep. Nice and easy. You may want to commit that to memory, because it will be the security standard for the foreseeable future.
If you have it in place on an online account it reduces your chances of EVER being hacked on that account to nearly ZERO. Why nearly? Well, because there is still the VERY, VERY, VERY remote possibility that someone could BOTH guess your current username and password WHILE having STOLEN AND UNLOCKED your phone at the very same time. Yep again. With 2FA in place on an account, this is now the ONLY way that anyone can hack this account. I don’t know about you, but I like those odds far better than trying to type in this password every single day Th1$Pa$$w0Rd%H!DdEnS0!cAnTbH@Kd.
What is 2FA and what does it do?
2FA stands for 2-Factor Authentication. 2-Factor Authentication is a SECOND layer of security added to an online account. Once activated it requires the user to provide BOTH the EMAIL / PASSWORD combination for the online account, AS WELL AS a one-time CODE that will be TEXTED to your mobile phone. (Authenticator apps for your mobile device are also available for use with some 2FA integrations, but that’s another article.)
Generally speaking, any online account that requires you to use an EMAIL / PASSWORD combination to log in is a candidate for adding 2FA, but not all online accounts currently offer it. It is still emerging so it may take time for some of your online accounts to catch up. BUT ready today should be ALL of your bank accounts, credit card accounts, retirement funds, investment portfolios, etc. All of these types of online accounts should have 2FA READY for you to enable TODAY.
Is there any way I can enable 2FA across all of my online accounts at once?
No, unfortunately, there is not. Not currently. And not for the foreseeable future. You will therefore need to enable 2FA for EACH of your online accounts INDIVIDUALLY, as well as according to the type of 2FA integration used by that online account. While they all work the same, setting them up rarely ever looks the same.
Seems like this would take a lot of time to do across all my online accounts. Is it worth it?
In both my personal and professional opinion YES it most certainly is. Why? Because I have seen, first-hand, on far too many occasions, both clients and friends that have had their online accounts compromised. And the loss for them is very real. Especially where data was concerned. Many of them have told me directly that they would have done, quite literally, ANYTHING to have prevented their loss. So herein lies your opportunity. Don’t let it happen to you.
With 2FA there’s no reason that it has to anymore.
Aaron Di Blasi, PMP
Project Management Professional