(Only those old enough to remember the Wrigley's doublemint gum commercials will get this title.)
“Multi-factor authentication” is a tech industry term for using different types of verification to get into an account. You do this daily with the 2-Step. The idea is that you use multiple things at the same time to really prove that you’re actually you. A password is one example of a factor; a fingerprint is another.
Multi-factor authentication makes it much harder for attackers to break into people’s accounts. If they have a password but not the other factor that they need, then they can’t get into that account after all.
Let’s look at a couple of tips for authentication:
- Check whether you can set it up on any of your accounts. Most accounts that you’d want to protect offer it. In a setup like this, the account will ask for something in addition to a password — we recommend having it "push" a notice to an app on your phone.
- Use different types of authentication. There are different types of factors: something you know, something you have and something you are. Use factors from different families for extra protection.
- Use authenticator apps to easily handle two-factor authentication for multiple accounts.
- Check out our tips and best practices for using 2-Step here on campus.
Finally, check out our infographic on multi-factor authentication for more tips. ->