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Why your Teenager and YOU need to enable 2 Step Verification

Core to the information I share with students at school assemblies and young people (and adults) at events, is learning how to take more control over their privacy and safety online.

One thing which pops up a lot within my talks recently is the lack of young people and adults who have enabled or even heard of 2 Step Verification.

Did you know that 65% of people use the same password everywhere!. Leaving themselves wide open. 2 Step Verification helps you become more secure online. So let’s take a look..

What is 2 Step Verification ?

Firstly it’s not new and has been kicking around for a number of years. Most, if not all of the major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp have a feature within their account security features called 2 Step Verification or Two Factor Authentication.

In a nutshell – when you enable both parts on your account you add an extra layer of necessary security.

So when you sign in or login with something you know (the first part of 2 part verification) this is normally your password and something which you nearly always have with you. Yup that’s right your Smartphone. A code which is sent to your smartphone being the second step of the 2 Step Verification.

Is 2 Step Verification only available on social media websites?

Nope. More and more everyday websites which we regularly use, even your email provider, will most likely offer some more 2 Step Verification features you can enable on your account to make it more secure.

How do I set it up?

It differs – depending on the website or social media platform you are trying to enable it on. For the most part it should be available within your account. The idea is, once you have it set up, if you – or anyone else signs into or tries to access your account from another PC or device which it doesn’t recognize, you will be sent a unique code, to your smartphone device which will allow you to login.

What if I don’t have a Smartphone?

Not too many people fall into this category these days. But if you don’t own a Smartphone or mobile phone you can still use 2 Step Verification via alternative methods such as email or voice call.

What are the benefits of 2 Step Verification?

Well, this should already be clear. But if it’s not – just Google ‘recent data breaches’ and you’ll see they’re on the rise, particularly for the Under 21’s. It’s really very necessary to take proactive steps to help keep your accounts as secure as possible and protect your personal information. Hackers, for example, who have gotten your login name and password still can’t get access to your account unless they’ve stolen your smartphone too.

Now don’t go thinking that 2 Step Verification is bulletproof. It just makes life harder for hackers and online criminals to breach your account. So that makes it worth doing.


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Posted By Wayne Denner

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Wayne Denner shares his knowledge & expertise on leading tech industry blog.

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