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Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) Matters More Than Ever – Here’s Why

Read 4 min
Black closed belt on a black background.
— Due to the global pandemic, working remotely has become the new standard.

— While working from home has its advantages, security is likely to be an issue.

— It’s strongly advised to use two-factor authentication to secure your accounts while teleworking.

— U2F is the best form of two-factor authentication, and Ledger devices can be used for this.

Teleworking has never been as present as right now. Working from home also means that your company’s files’ security are in your hands. 2FA can play a vital role in this.

Looking back, 2020 was probably not what we expected it to be. With the global pandemic raging the land, most of us are now working from home to prevent it from spreading.

So working from home it is! Many think that remote working might become the new standard. Experts like Ernst & Young, the OECD and Deloitte are underlining the benefits in productivity of teleworking after the pandemic is over.

So teleworking might become the new normal. However, how prepared are we for that? What challenges come with working from home that we might not be aware of?

Working from home can be a risk

What comes to your mind when thinking of how to make your remote working experience a success? Having a good desk and comfortable chair? Having a stable internet connection and fast enough laptop? 

All definitely very important factors, but one very vital element is often forgotten: security.

See, when you work from your office it’s often something you don’t need to worry about too much. Your company usually makes sure that the network you’re using is properly secured. When working from home, you probably won’t have that same level of security. 

At the same time, your work laptop will have plenty of company sensitive data and information on it. Imagine if the company’s new prototype schedules are leaked to the wrong person. Some could get access to the Twitter account you manage for the company, or the Google Drive where so many important documents are kept. All would have devastating consequences.

So what can you do to have a successful and secure teleworking experience?

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) is a must-have for teleworking

While not a silver bullet for everything, using Two-Factor Authentication for all your account logins can go a very long way. But exactly is that? It sounds complicated…

It might sound difficult, but it’s a lot easier than you think. You know how whenever you make a purchase through your bank card, you can receive a text message with a verification code? That’s a form of two-factor authentication – or 2FA in short.

2FA comes down to having another way to prove your identity beyond knowing an account’s password. This can come in many shapes and sizes. It’s another layer of security for your account login details.

Let’s say someone was able to hack your laptop. By going through the files, they could find out what the password to your email address would be and start wreaking all kinds of havoc. However, if you use 2FA they still won’t get in. 

Especially if you’re working from home, 2FA can make a huge difference. When working at the office, you’ll be using your company’s private network. Most companies have IT teams taking care of the network’s security, doing what they can to keep hackers and intruders out. Since you’re working from home, you don’t have this secure network nor these experts to rely on. That’s why 2FA can be an extra line of defence.

Two-factor authentication can be a real game changer for the security of your accounts: Social Media, Email, Google Drive, you name it. Especially when handling classified company information, these must be well protected.

The best form of Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Now not all forms of 2FA are as safe to use. Remember the one we mentioned earlier via text messages? That’s actually one of the less secure versions, since it can easily be bypassed. For example, someone with malicious intent could perform a SIM swapping attack.

Another commonly used form of 2FA is via email… you can probably already see where this is going. If someone hacks your laptop, there could be traces of you logging into your email, rendering this completely useless.

The best way to secure your accounts is with dedicated devices for 2FA. This is called Universal Second Factor Authentication – or U2F in short. These devices hold the data needed to confirm your identity completely offline. In short: you can’t login without having your U2F device.

And that’s exactly what our devices can do. While they might be best known for protecting cryptocurrencies, it’s definitely not their only purpose. The Ledger FIDO U2F app can be used to protect your important accounts with the highest form of two-factor authentication.

It doesn’t stop there though. Our devices even have an extra layer that other forms of U2F don’t have: you need to enter a PIN code on the device to unlock it. If you’re looking for extra security for your accounts, we’ve got your back. 

Keep learning! If you enjoy getting to grips with crypto and blockchain, check out our School of Block video How to Keep Your Crypto Safe

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