Have you heard of multi-factor authentication (MFA)? If you regularly use a computer, as well as the internet, chances are you have. MFA is a common feature with devices and online accounts. While it’s typically disabled by default, you can use it to create a stronger level of security that safeguards your sensitive data.

What Is MFA?

MFA is an approach to cybersecurity that involves multiple steps of authorization. By default, most devices and online accounts only require a single method of authorization. Entering your username and password, for example, is a common method of authorization. You can often log in to a device or online account by entering these credentials. MFA goes beyond login-exclusive authorization by requiring two or more methods of authorization.

If a device or online account has MFA enabled, you’ll have to perform two authorization processes to access it. You may still have to enter your username and password. However, you’ll also have to perform at least one other method of authorization.

MFA specifically uses a combination of authorization methods of “something that you know” and “something that you have.” A username and password is considered something that you know. Something you have, on the other hand, can be an email address or mobile device. The device or online account may send you an email or text message containing a personal identification number (PIN), which you’ll need to enter to access the respective device or online account.

Why You Should Enable MFA

Even if it’s optional, you should consider using MFA on your devices and online accounts. MFA can greatly reduce the chance of being hacked. A study conducted by Microsoft found that over 99% of all compromised accounts didn’t leverage MFA. Rather, they had this feature disabled, which either caused or contributed to the accounts being hacked.

A strong password isn’t always enough to protect a device or online account from being hacked. Passwords, as well as their corresponding usernames, are often breached. Once a hacker knows your credentials, he or she will have access to your device or online account. Enabling MFA protects offers a solution. To access your device or account, a hacker must also have access to your email address or phone number.

In Conclusion

Data security is paramount in today’s digital era. Failure to secure your data can lead to disaster for both you and your business. Fortunately, you can create a stronger level of data security by enabling MFA.

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