What is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)?

MFA provides an extra layer of security by only letting you access an account after you provide at least one additional piece of evidence, as well as your username and password. A common form of MFA is when you’re sent a code to your mobile phone which you then enter to continue logging in.

MFA makes your accounts much harder to break into than if you were only using a password. Even if a criminal does obtain your password, they will still have to get past at least one additional barrier to access your account.

MFA table
Type of Authentication Description
1 Factor Authentication Description Something you know, like your password or PIN.
2 Factor Authentication Description Something you know + something you have. This requires a regular password and then a one-time code sent to your mobile phone for example to access the account.
3 Factor Authentication Description Something you know + something you have + something you are. Something you are refers to a unique biometric input, such as your fingerprint for example.

You should consider MFA on all accounts (email, social media and banking) where it is available to increase the safety of your accounts.

CHECK YOUR UNDERSTANDING

How does MFA help keep your accounts secure?

It makes your accounts much harder to break into than if you used a password alone.

Correct. MFA adds at least one extra layer of security to your accounts, by asking for a password plus something you have (e.g. an SMS code) or even something you are (fingerprint), to verify the account. This makes it much harder for a cyber-criminal to access your account.

It stops malware from entering your system.

Incorrect. MFA doesn’t prevent malware from entering your system. The best way to stop malware is by installing antivirus software and keeping your application software up-to-date.