“Multi-factor authentication” is a tech industry term for using different types of verification to get into an account. The idea is that you use multiple things at the same time to really prove that you’re actually you. A password is one example of a factor; a fingerprint is another.
Multi-factor authentication makes it much harder for hackers to break into people’s accounts. If they have one password but not the other one or two factors that they need, then they can’t get into that account after all.
Let’s look at a couple of tips for authentication.
First, check whether you can set it up on any of your accounts. Most accounts that you’d want to protect offer it. In a setup like this, the account will ask for something in addition to a password — usually, sending a text message to your phone.
Second, use different types of authentication. There are different types of factors: something you know, something you have and something you are. Use factors from different families for extra protection.
Third, you can use authenticator apps to easily handle two-factor authentication for multiple accounts.
Fourth, check out our infographic on multi-factor authentication for more tips.