What is meant by the Two-Factor Authentication?
Two-factor authentication (commonly known as 2FA) is a method of confirming the identity of a user with a combination of two different elements. Two-factor authentication is a type of multi-factor authentication.
A good example of this approach to authentication is an ATM machine. Withdrawal requests are only successful if an individual is using the correct bank card and a PIN known only to them.
Another good example of 2FA is authorization from Google and Microsoft. When a user logs into their account from a new device, they are prompted to enter a six-digit code (in the case of Google), or an eight-digit code with a Microsoft account.
In addition to this confirmation code, authentication requires the conventional password be entered. Codes are received via SMS or via voice call on your phone. You can also generate a one-time password in the worst case, but this is only active for a short time.
Advantages of using 2FA with a mobile device:
- Nothing else other than the mobile you have to hand is required.
- The confirmation code changes constantly, making it safer than a single factor password.
Disadvantages of using 2FA with a mobile device:
- Mobile phones must have a network connection for authentication to take place.
- If you share your mobile number with another party, you risk receiving unwanted spam and communications in the future.
- Text messages will tend to arrive with a slight delay.
Modern smartphones are used for both receiving e-mail and SMS. Normally, however, e-mail reception on devices is automatically turned on. Thus, all accounts can potentially be hacked. The email with the key is the first element of 2FA, while the mobile device provides the second element.
A smartphone combines the two-factor authentication into one, by granting the possability to use SMS and Mail as well from the same device.