Two  step authentication: key to protecting your data

We share data all the time. From our computer or smartphone, we use applications that eventually ask us for a two step authentication.

Do you know what this process consists of and what is its importance in the protection of your data? Next, we explain how it is activated and why this process helps you avoid cyber attacks. We also present examples of applications that implement it.

What is data protection and what data is protected?

Data protection is a set of practices and principles that are implemented to protect your personal information. Based on its principles, protocols, guidelines and methods are designed to ensure that you maintain the control of your data and that they are not improperly used by third parties.

When speaking of the protection of personal data, we refer to all information relating to an identified or identifiable living natural person. According to the European Data Protection Regulation (REPD), this information includes the following data:

  • Name of individual.
  • Date of Birth.
  • Address.
  • Nationality.
  • Insured number.
  • Bank data.
  • IP adress.
  • Location data generated by GPS.
  • Data Collected by Cookies and Other Encoding.
  • ***, skin color, eyes and hair.
  • Properties.
  • Data as a client of applications or online services.
  • Training.
  • Professional titles.

Another important category is non personal data. These are collected anonymously and are not associated with a particular person. For this reason they are considered non identifying. Among these, we can mention the following:

  • Information about the visits to certain web pages.
  • Average session time in an online store.
  • Leads that have converted.
  • Inventory data, such as the most requested products.
  • Consolidated or totalized datathat can be collected through online services, search engines, email, social networks or other ways.

What is two step authentication

Technically known by the acronym 2FA, Two Factor Authentication is a verification method which adds an extra step to identify a user.

TheTwo step authentication is a useful procedure for data protection because it serves to confirm that it is really you who is accessing an account. In some cases, your username, email, and even passwords can be leaked or easily guessed. With this additional authentication step it will be more difficult to illegally access your information. This way you can deal with violations such as impersonation or identity theft.

How to use two step authentication

2FA is implemented adding one more step to the traditional request for username or email, and password.

Once it is verified that the username (or email) and password have been entered correctly, it advances to a second identification step.

Only after passing the two steps, it is possible to access the application or the digital service that is intended. As we can see, add a additional security layer.

The second factor of two factor authentication can be activated in various ways. Each service provides certain options for this method:

  • Code sent to your mobile phone via SMS.
  • Temporary code that is sent to an account email previously registered and validated.
  • Digital security key that gives you access to personal or company virtual private networks (VPN), and whose random key is generated on a USB memory or a special device.
  • Act of verification by biometrics.
  • codes of access recovery.
  • Code created by a temporary key or ID generation application:
    • Google Authenticator.
    • Auty.
    • Microsoft Authenticator.
    • 2FA Authenticator.

Applications that implement two step authentication

Many services have built in two step verification to minimize the risk of cyber attacks. In general, it is a priority that you activate it in services and applications that use valuable data for you:

  • Online bank accounts.
  • Finance apps.
  • Digital wallets.
  • Email.
  • Personal Messaging.
  • Social media accounts.
  • Applications where you save access codes.

These are some of the platforms that implement two step authentication for access to their services or applications:

  • Facebook.
  • WhatsApp.
  • Google.
  • Manzana.
  • Microsoft.
  • Amazon.

To give you a more precise idea of ​​its use, we explain how it is configured in the Facebook application:

Step 1: Activate or manage two factor authentication

  • Go to your Facebook login and security settings.
  • Locate the option “Use two step authentication” and click “Edit”.
  • Choose the security method you want to add and follow the instructions on the screen.

Step 2: Configure the method for the second authentication step

These are the three security methods that are available to you:

  • Enter your security key on a compatible device.
  • Use login codes generated by a third party authenticator app.
  • Receive codes by text message (SMS) on your cell phone.

The implementation of authentication mechanisms in two steps it will prevent you from being a victim of cybercrime activities, such as:

  • The interception of data entered from the keyboard.
  • The capture of data through the intersection of personal information that is saved in user sessions or is stored in cookies.
  • Access to your data due to leaks on the Internet.
  • Phishing attacks and other forms of malicious code.

The protection of personal data with mechanisms such as two step authentication is part of cybersecurity practices. In the era of hyperconnection, it is necessary to protect your actions on the network. For this reason, we invite you to protect your information through this type of procedure.