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What is Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)?

Two-factor authentication (2FA) — sometimes referred to as multi-factor authentication — provides an additional layer of security to your accounts. When you have 2FA activated, you typically enter your password, then need to enter a PIN sent to your phone or use an authentication app to confirm your identity.

Two-factor authentication may feel annoying, but it’s especially useful for protecting your most sensitive accounts, including your email and financial accounts, as well as online shopping and social media. We suggest adding 2FA to accounts that store sensitive personal information because they can protect your account, even if your password is stolen or compromised. A person would need to know your password and have access to your device (phone, tablet, or computer) to gain access to your account.

Examples of popular authentication apps include Duo and Google Authenticator. Once you have them set up, you can either send an authorization request to them when signing it or generate a 6-8 digit code that regularly resets.