Safer Internet Week Post: Two-Factor Authentication[ Edited ]
February 2016 - last edited February 2016
Hello everyone. Hope all is well and you are swimming in AdWords revenue much like a millionaire in a luxury pool. We continue our posts focusing on security to acknowledge Safer Internet Day; and today I’d like to talk about ‘Two-Factor Authentication’ (2FA).
When I was growing up, my mother used to make me brush my teeth every night before bed - and I absolutely hated it. I just didn’t see the point. After all, it wasn’t like I was going to be eating in my sleep and I’d only have to brush it again eight hours later in the morning. But sure enough, every night, she’d inspect my teeth and no matter how diligently I brushed, she’d ask me to brush them again. This continued for years until it became habit and now... I have a set of lovely pearly-white teeth.
The point I’m trying to make with this trip down memory lane is that if something important is worth saying, then it's worth repeating. We have covered 2FA before in this community but in honour of Safer Internet Day, we want to emphasise this. Account hijacking remains an issue; research showed that as many as 2 million email accounts across all platforms are hit with account hijacking each year. Our studies also show that hijacking victims contacts are 36 times more likely to be hijacked in the future.
2FA is one of the most effective ways to ensure your AdWords account remains secure. It is an effective security feature to prevent hijacking because it combines both ‘something you know’ (like a password) and ‘something you have’ (like your phone or security key). This significantly increases the security of your account because it is unlikely that the bad guys will have access to your password AND your device. Think of it like withdrawing money from an ATM/cash machine, where you need both your PIN and your bank card.
It is such a trusted security measure that many popular online services, financial, gaming, retail, and health organisations offer 2FA - so we advise you to activate it with all your online accounts. With Google accounts, there are a couple of ways that you can activate 2FA. You can use our free Google Authenticator app from the Play Store, which generates a code for you each time you want to log into your account. You can also sign up for 2FA, where you can get an SMS message whenever you want to log in. There are other effective ways to activate 2FA such as with Security Keys, but we’ll cover that in detail in the next post.
2FA provides additional peace of mind, meaning that your financial, personal and business information remains safe, in your control and out of the bad guys’ hands. But remember, just like a bad guy can't get into your account with just your password (but without your phone), neither can you. If you sign up for 2FA, remember to keep your settings up to date, and configure backup options to use if your phone is ever lost or stolen. You can find out more about Google’s 2FA process here.
So if you didn’t manage to activate 2FA the last time we spoke about it, please do so now. We’ll continue to cover this topic because it’s that important. After all, the great Winston Churchill famously said: “If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time - a tremendous whack.”
Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for the next post tomorrow.