By Joshua Bagwell

First it was suggested that people should create long complex passwords, changing them often, and that would keep online accounts safe.  That doesn’t usually happen since many users use the same weak password across multiple sites. Then one fateful day that password is stolen, and the cybercriminal has access to all sorts of things like bank accounts, email, files stored in the cloud and the list goes on. One way to prevent this is multifactor authentication.

Multifactor authentication is a security system that requires more than one method of authentication from the user to identity oneself. With multifactor  authentication, users must combine verification technologies from at least three different groups. These groups are: something you know, something you have and something you are. To achieve multi-factor authentication, at least two different technologies from at least two different technology groups must be used.

Something you know: This is usually a password, a pin, or a question with a corresponding correct answer.

Something you have: This can be a token, text message, smartphone or a smartcard.

Something you are: This can be a fingerprint, retina scan or speech recognition.

A growing number of websites are giving users the ability to enable multi factor authentication.  In most cases, you need to enable it and go through the setup. With the growing number of data breaches, it will become the standard rather than an added feature. Some industries are adopting it faster than others. Early adopters are the ones that usually hold sensitive information such as the medical and financial industries.