Keep Your Online Accounts Safe With U2F Technology
More and more frequently, websites and online accounts are requiring its users to log in using two-factor authentication (2FA). With 2FA, the user enters his or her username and password and a separate alpha and/or numeric code is sent via a text to a mobile device to complete the authentication process. While 2FA is effective, it may not be the most convenient process if your mobile device is not easily accessible, or if you don’t have cell service. Further, it may not be secure if an intruder is snooping on your phone or a hacker has redirected your phone number. Thankfully, there are solutions for enhancing, strengthening and simplifying the 2FA process. Google, Yubico, Fido Alliance, Duo, and Hypersecu have worked to develop a standard called Universal 2nd Factor (U2F). This is accomplished with security keys that are plugged into your computer’s USB drive to protect your identity, much like the technology used in smart cards. There is a sensor on the card that uses your fingerprint to generate a one-time password for logging into your account.
There are several sites that are compatible with 2FA security cards including Facebook, Google (Gmail and Chrome), Dropbox, and Salesforce. Right now, there are only two major browsers that accept U2F technology, Chrome and Opera. However, many sites and browsers are working on adopting this technology as well, including Mozilla Firefox. Fortunately, 2FA security won’t break the bank! Yubico offers its YubiKey for just $18.
With ease and cost in mind, U2F technology can help keep your accounts secure while taking away the need for an inconvenient 2FA authentication process.
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