Multi-factor Authentication

by Felix Kinaro About 1 min reading time

This is a collective term used to describe a variety of authentication mechanisms. 2-Factor authentication is the most commn subset.

2FA relies on a second form of identity verification like a one-time pass code sent via SMS or email, or codes generated using a Time-based OTP app like FreeOTP or Google Authenticator.

Should I Use SMS Authentication?

SMS as a 2FA method poses some risks. A determined attacker can swap your SIM card and get the OTP without your knowledge.

One Coinbase user had their funds drained in a mix of sim swap and unreliable customer service. A hardware device like the YubiKey provides a reliable guarantee on the safety of your online accounts since no one else has access to it.

What If I Don't Have a Hardware Device?

If you don't have a hardware device, your phone will suffice. Use Google Authenticator to generate one-time passwords. The Google Authenticator app also allows you to export your keys to a different device. Scan the QR code generated and all your sites appear on the new device.

Combining Email and SMS Authentication

A combination of Email and SMS for authentication would make it difficult for a person to get into your accounts as they must have control of the two methods.


We have seen how we can keep accounts secure. Some websites, especially financial services providers require that users present multiple forms of identity verification before granting access.

Keep in mind that security is only as strong as the weakest link. If you are careless then you will unwittingly provide an attacker with the leeway they need to access your accounts.

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