Security isn’t a simple matter of caring or spending time reading manuals or being told what you can or can’t do. Security is understanding how to view the world from a different perspective. It’s a skill that people build over time, and it’s completely appropriate to start out small. If you can do nothing else, consider the access to your accounts, professional, banking, and social media. Consider how hard a malicious actor needs to work to gain access to these. Then layer on restrictions to limit the likelihood.

What do I mean by “layering”? Consider someone looking to steal a vehicle.

  • A vehicle unlocked and parked on the street can easily be picked up in an opportunistic attack. This is how I would view an account with a poor or easily guessable password.
  • A vehicle that’s locked and parked on a busy street, whilst still vulnerable, is more secure than the first. This is how I would view a secure password.
  • A vehicle that’s locked and stored in a secure garage requires knowledge and skill to steal. This is how I would view an account using a secure password and second form of authentication.

What Is the Difference Between Two-Factor Authentication and Two-Step Verification?

To understand this, you need to understand what multi-factor is: something you have, something you know, and something you are. That is, separate pieces that together prove who you are. The more pieces that are used as validation, the lower the likelihood that someone else will be able to authenticate themselves as you. There are further options available, but these three are the most commonly used.

A form of multi-factor authentication, two-factor authentication uses two of the following: something you know, something you have and something you are.

Some examples of “something you know”: