What is Two Factor Authentication (2FA) and How Does It Work?

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Introduction to Two Factor Authentication (2FA)

In the 90s, the most screen time people could spend was in front of their televisions or personal computers. However, the invention of mobile phones has changed the world forever.

Every person on the planet has to have a handset which has led to newer versions of operating systems and hardware coming out at a rapid pace. More mobile phones mean more applications and other programs that users are accessing.

Operating services providers need to ensure user authentication and account verification options for application developers. Users have up to terabyte storage meaning room for lots of apps with each app requiring sign-up and unique passwords. This phenomenon has led to an increase in user-permissions that can result in ease of access for hackers.  

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Hackers can use various entry points to breach into a user account. Therefore, developers have incorporated a new security measure called the two factor verification method.

How does Two Factor (2FA) Verification Work?

Every person is required by the government to insert a SIM card for network services and to ensure registration with the regulated network services providers. SIM cards are issued by the network services providers and registered with a person against their national issued identity number.

Therefore, the SIM number or mobile phone is considered a secure option that is accessible to its registered user only. In most cases, application and site services providers require email address for account registration.

The user can request a password reset using their registration email address to log-in to their account. This is one layer of protection against any security issues. However, apps and sites allow users to enter their unique mobile numbers to access their accounts.

In this manner, when a user logs into their accounts two unique codes are sent to their email and their mobile phone number. The user must enter both options in order to sign-in to their account.

In this manner, hackers are unable to log into the accounts of a user even if they have managed to breach the email address of a given user.

Types of 2 Factor Authentication Methods

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At its base 2FA is done using the SIM number registration with the software services providers. However, there 2FA means adding more than one sources of account authentication or sign-in verification methods as a way to ensure user safety.

There are many other methods that users can undertake as a means to secure their accounts. Two factor authentications can be a combination of any of the following security measures:

  • The PIN, pattern, or password that only the user has.
  • Unique code sent to the authenticated mobile phone number as an alphanumeric or only numeric value.
  • Biometric verification options such as fingerprint, face, or retina scans.
  • OS generated code that is generated as an option for authentication by clicking yes or no.
  • Email verification or mobile phone notifications to confirm all new sign-ins.

Advantages of Two Factor Verification

Here are some important advantages of two factor verification methods given as under:

Added Security

The most important benefit of two factor authentication is that it increases the security ratio for an average user. It entails that users are able to secure their accounts against an additional layer of possible breach without needing any additional security measures.

Mobile phone numbers are essential for every user. Therefore, it means that users do not have to make added purchases as a way to ensure security for their accounts.

Simple to Use

Two-factor verification is an easy and simple option. It does not require extensive technical knowledge to avail. Therefore, anyone with a mobile account and a SIM card can access and use this option.

As long as the application or site services provider has added the option for 2FA authentication, the users are able to access them and use them without consulting developer or using programming languages to apply it.

Secure Networks

2FA are based on various secured networks. The mobile network services provider need to be a regulated entity in order to ensure that it is accessible to only one user.

On the other hand, the application or site facilitators must also be verified by the app store or and regulated entity. In this manner, the channels that are used for authentication are secured and regulated and bring more legitimacy to the overall project.

Obstacle for Hackers

2FA does not prevent all hack attacks and it cannot ensure safety against all levels of breach. However, it can add barrier for the hackers who do not have access to the personalized SIM numbers.

In this manner, this type of authentication method can increase the security ratio for its users by many folds.


2FA is possible only with trusted devices and many software services providers are offering this option for their investors. However, companies are also working on newer method of authentication that are easily accessible and bring greater security for their investors.

Author: Isacco Genovesi

Isacco writes news articles, reviews and guides about cryptocurrencies including technical analysis, blockchain events, coin prices marketcap and detailed reviews on crypto exchanges and trading platforms.

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