NOTE: The Emerge Blog shares general Industry and Technical Insights. When it comes to Two Factor, The Emerge choice is DUO for your (and our!) business. Read more about Emerge security solutions that include DUO Two-Factor here.
Many businesses and individuals have chosen to take advantage of two-factor authentication for their security needs, but there are far too many that have chosen not to. The methods might vary, but the general principle remains the same. We’re here to share with you how to implement two-factor authentication for three common business / personal accounts: Microsoft, Google, and Apple.
What is Two-Factor Authentication?
Normally, accounts are protected by just a password. While this is an acceptable first line of defense against hackers and their attacks, accounts are generally more secure when multiple measures are implemented. Two-factor authentication uses at least two of the below methods to secure an account, making things significantly more difficult for hackers. See the methods in the list below:
- Something you know (a password)
- Something you have (a secondary device you own)
- Something you are (biometrics, facial recognition, fingerprinting, etc)
What Are Its Benefits?
A decent analogy to explain the benefits of two-factor authentication is that of a house with two doors. Imagine the first opens up into a mudroom, whereas the second one opens up into the house after passing through the mudroom. If both doors use the same key, a thief only needs one key to open both doors. If the doors require two different keys, this effectively doubles the effort required to unlock the doors and make it into the house.
Two-factor authentication gives businesses an out in the event that a hacker compromises a password. It is much more difficult for hackers to pull off a successful hack when you have multiple measures protecting accounts. If the account is set up to use a smartphone or biometric in addition to a password, the hacker is more unlikely to go the extra mile just to access the account.
Set Up Two-Factor Authentication!
Now, let’s move on to why you actually came here; let’s set up 2FA for your Microsoft, Google, and Apple accounts.
Before you get started with two-factor authentication with your Microsoft account, be sure to have a backup email address, a phone number, or a mobile device with the Microsoft Authenticator application. First, go to this page. Sign in to your Microsoft account. Next, click on More security options. For the Two-step verification option, select Set up two-step verification. Finally, follow the on-screen instructions to finish the process.
For your personal Google account, you should start by navigating here. In the navigation panel, select Security. Under Signing in to Google, pick 2-Step Verification. The final step is to click on Get Started. Directions should appear on your screen with the next steps. You can set your Google account verification to function with Google Prompts, security keys, Google Authenticator, verification codes through text or phone call, or backup codes. You can also opt to disable this second step on trusted devices.
For your Apple ID verification, go to your account by clicking here. Sign in to your account, answer your security questions, and click Continue. You might see a prompt to upgrade your account security, so if you do, click Continue. From here, click on Upgrade Account Security. You can then add a phone number through which you will receive verification codes in a text message or a phone call. Click Continue, enter the verification code, and turn on two-factor authentication.
If you want to get started with two-factor authentication, Emerge can help. Let us help you set up multi-factor authentication for your systems to optimize network security. To learn more, reach out to us at 859-746-1030.