Here it is, the Big Bertha of security tips.
Every time you log into a website or email client, you type the same ol’ string of characters—not exactly hacker-proof, especially if you use the same password across platforms.
Two-factor authentication helps.
It’s basically what it sounds like: After typing your password, sites and services that use two factors ask you to present an additional piece of information.
Most likely, you have a separate program or physical device, also known as a “token,” that presents randomly generated numbers and communicates with the website or software you’re accessing, allowing you an extra layer of security.
Type your password, get the random numbers from your token, and type those in to move along.
Think a token sounds niche?
Consider this: A few years ago, Blizzard—the gaming company behind massively successful titles like World of Warcraft and Diablo—introduced an “authenticator” device for users in an effort to stop hackers from stealing items and in-game currency.
Gmail offers a similar service, as do various other email clients and social networks.