Cyber criminals are out to steal your online identity. They are interested in your bank account, organization’s computing systems, emails and social media contacts.

Usernames and passwords are not enough to stop your online account being hacked. A strong password is just a first step in securing your accounts. Cybercriminals with the right tools and tactics can in time get your passwords.

How cybercriminals steal your password

Cybercriminals steal your password by guessing, getting passwords from previous breaches, or stealing passwords through phishing.

Multi-factor authentication is an effective way to protect individuals and organizations from hacking. Microsoft says that using multi-factor authentication (MFA) blocks nearly 100 percent of account hacks[i].

What is Multi-Factor Authentication?

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an extra security layer that keeps online accounts safe. It ensures that people cannot access online accounts that are not theirs.

There are three common factors of authentication:

  1. Something you know: A password or answer to a security question, for example.
  2. A thing you have: A phone, ATM card, etc.
  3. What you are: This includes biometric methods like fingerprint or facial scans.

To create MFA, they pair your password with another factor. This other factor could be your phone or email. When you enable MFA, a text or email to be sent to your phone or an email account when you try to access your account. You use the text or email to allow access.

When MFA is on, if they steal your password, your account is still safe. The chances of someone having access to your second-factor authenticator is low.

Enabling MFA

Most sites, apps, and devices use multi-factor authentication. To enable MFA, you turn it on in your settings, or you can download and install an authenticator app.

Below are popular authentication apps you can use to secure your accounts.

  • Google Authenticator
  • Microsoft Authenticator
  • Authy

Takeaway

Multi-factor authentication is an effective way to protect you online accounts, so use it save yourself from cybercriminals.

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[i]https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-using-multi-factor-authentication-blocks-99-9-of-account-hacks/