Protecting your login credentials can get a bit tricky.  There are smartphones, the work computer, the laptop, the tablet, and occasionally the public computer. Logging on multiple devices to perform tasks such as checking email and performing banking transactions leaves us a bit more vulnerable to having our credentials stolen.

Fortunately, many of the well known online services are now offering two-factor authentication.  If you’ve used one of our automated teller machines, you’ve used this.  It involves something you have (the debit card) and something you know (the PIN).

Most web services that do support this will send a code via text message to a mobile phone that is required before it’ll grant access to the account.  For example, when logging into Online Banking for the first time, we will provide a hardware token that provides a randomly generated number to enter.

Some of the services offering this as a free service are Google, Facebook, Dropbox, Yahoo, and PayPal. The good news is that it only requires authentication in this way one time from each browser or device; meaning once you do it from your smartphone or from the browser on your laptop, it won’t ask you again.

How does this make you more secure?  It prevents hackers from using the information, even if they do intercept it because they likely won’t also have your smartphone or token.

So take a few minutes and activate two-factor authentication wherever you can.  A few minutes of your time is worth protecting your information.

Donovan B. Fox © Copyright 2017 SDFCU.org