According to a study by Pew Research, seventy-two percent of American adults polled don’t know about one of the most important ways to protect your accounts.

Only twenty-eight percent of those surveyed could correctly identify an example of two-factor authentication. I’m certain that none of the people surveyed were my readers. Right? Because I’m continually pounding the drum for two-factor authentication.

Two-factor authentication (sometimes known as multi-factor authentication) is an important term that everyone should understand. In fact, it is the best way to keep your accounts secure. Think about two-factor authentication as if it were a deadbolt lock on your door. Instead of one lock that requires a key, you have two locks. One on the doorknob and one that requires a second key.

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Two-factor authentication just means that there are two steps to log into your account. It might be that you enter a password and are then asked to answer a security question.  You might enter a password and then have a code sent to you via text or email. You then have to enter that code to get into your account.

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Much like a deadbolt, it can discourage a crook. If you have two-step security activated on your bank account and a criminal tries to hack in, even if he has your password, he won’t be able to get in unless he has access to your email or phone.