Anyone living in the golden age of technology is pretty well acquainted with account security and the importance of a strong password, as well as the importance of using different passwords across your accounts. (If you’re still using abc123 as your email password, this might be a great time to change that!) While having good password hygiene is critical, a strong password alone may not be enough to stand up against hackers who want into your account. Enter: multi-factor authentication, or MFA. Think of strong passwords as the lock on your door and MFA as the security cameras. What can make your accounts even more secure is multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA aids in creating a robust security system, it’s like a beefed-up bouncer for your accounts. They’re those pesky attentive little reminders you receive that require confirmation that, yes, it’s you trying to log in.

The majority of data breaches are due to weak credentials, which makes MFA all the more important, especially with the increased number of employees working from home. Because we’re no longer constantly connected to the security of the work network, businesses are relying more heavily on MFA as a means of protection from hackers.

Multi-factor authentication can come in a variety of forms. It could be a push notification to your phone from a MFA app, asking you to authenticate your login attempt. Other forms could include an email, a text message, or a fingerprint, just to name a few. These additional measures are relatively quick and painless, especially when considering the amount of value they provide.

There are a few factors that can trigger multi-factor authentication. This could be the time of day (is that you checking your email at 2 am?), your location (are you really connecting to the VPN from Colombia? During a pandemic?) or it could be based upon the type of device you’re using (did you actually get a new work cell phone that hasn’t yet been authenticated?). Authentication factors can include something you have, something you know, something you are or somewhere you are.

Just as you wouldn’t want someone else to be using your credit card for their groceries, you probably don’t want someone hacking into your OneDrive and messing with that PowerPoint Presentation to which you’ve dedicated hours perfecting. Multi-factor authentication without a doubt is an upgrade to security protocol, and secure data on the individual level aids in securing your business as a whole. So the next time you get a MFA push notification or text message, just think of it as your own private bouncer, giving a straight-arm to any unwanted trolls trying to log into your accounts.