Two Steps Ahead
“Two Steps Ahead” is a project of the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign that aims to educate people about the need to add multiple layers of security to their online activities. It may sound complicated, but it’s fairly easy. It can help prevent instances of current account takeover, which is when someone other than the authorized user of an existing account makes use of that account.
Two-factor authentication is a security technique that requires the person logging into an account to provide two types of verification. Usually, one factor is something they know such as a password or personal identification number and the second factor is something they have such as a card chip or a phone (to receive a text message).
Here’s an example: Lynn is signing on to her bank’s website to review her bank account transactions. She enters her user ID and password. Next, the website asks her to enter a unique code that was sent by text message to her phone.
The added layer of verification makes it more likely that the person to whom the account pertains is the only person accessing it. In the example above, if someone gained access to only Lynn’s user ID and password, that would not be enough to give them access to her bank account online.
Check the Stop.Think.Connect. website for step-by-step guidance for adding two-factor authentication to a variety of online accounts including email and social networking accounts. Visit www.stopthinkconnect.org/twostepsahead and click on “Other resources” to access instructions for several popular platforms. Scroll down the screen until you see “Here are stepby-step instructions on some popular platforms.”