Working with 2 Factor Authentication
No one ever said it would be easy but some things you will need to consider can greatly impact your success at keeping your accounts secure and your identity safe! I will talk about some of the ways to increase your chances on improving upon 2 factor authentication. Nothing in the blog is set in stone but are merely suggestions from someone who believes in the ideal of keeping your personal information safe.
The first solution to 2FA (2 Factor Authentication) is simply using Google’s Authenticator app on Android, or even IOS. It can be good because we all have phones and no new hard ware to have to carry around. There are always going to be problems with this though. The hardware could sooner or later be compromised and someone could get access to the keys to each site and you would be back at square one.
Yubikey OTP (One Time Passwords)
The next alternative is something that you probably have never heard of, is Yubikey. It is a small USB thumb drive with a button on it to authenticate that your who you are. It requires you to know a password for the USB key and thus the password needs kept secret and only you should know it. I have yet to use Yubikey on anything or bought it. You can use it with some services such as Google but you must have some work around to do it. It seems that Google and Yubico are reluctant to make that option easy!
Those are the main two.
Being security minded
It isn’t like we are all wired to think about security every day of our lives. So we have always been using unsecured methods in the past. So it isn’t like we will ever truly be secure, but we can at least try to become better at it! So we will discuss some necessary steps to make sure your more secure.
- Keep Backup Codes — If a services allows you to have several OTP then print those up and save them for the time when your key doesn’t work anymore. It isn’t going to happen at all but there are times when you will need that backup. I do hope you never have to use the backup but it might happen.
- Turn off Voicemail — This one is rarely unknown but you shouldn’t have any service call your phone for the backup code to the account. This happens to be a problem if the attacker knows your voicemail pin! Highly unlikely but possible!
- Cell Phone — Using your cell phone as your token and login in it can lead to a single point of failure and can make it that much easier for an attacker to get at your account. I do not suggest having all your keys in one Phone!
As you can see these are some simple steps to keep you more safe. Do you know another way to keep your security safe with 2 factor authentication? I’d like to hear your comments on the subject!