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Two-factor authentication: what it is and why it is important

Two-factor authentication is nothing more than an extra verification when logging in to ensure that the user who is trying to access an account is actually the person it belongs to. This way, even if a web user discovers one of your passwords, a second combination is requested if someone tries to break into your networks. 

Safer platforms and applications rely on the two-factor authentication feature. Various social networks and email platforms use this functionality to ensure greater protection of their users’ data. The so-called “extra layer” of protection can be SMS, tokens, emails, and even biometric authentications. 

How does this work? 

In most cases, a numerical sequence is generated that is usually sent via SMS. 

After entering the correct login and password to a given application, the system will forward a verification code to the user, who must enter the numbers correctly for the system to grant access to their account. 

Why is this important? 

The adoption of new online habits during the pandemic generated greater data circulation and, consequently, increased the number of attacks in the digital environment. 

This is the case of phishing, a scam in which criminals send fraudulent messages that induce victims to click on links, download files, or inform their data. This way, the criminals are able to take possession of a victim’s personal information or bank details.

In addition, over the years and with the greater availability of technological resources, password cracking software used by cybercriminals has become increasingly advanced.

Faced with the growing number of threats in cyberspace, two-factor authentication becomes an essential security feature. After all, even if a fraudster manages to discover your main password, you guarantee that access to your account will certainly be hampered by the second combination to be requested.

Which accounts should I enable authentication for?

Ideally, this extra layer of security should be used for all possible services. If you need to prioritize any of them, start with the banking apps, apps in which your card is registered, and your personal email. 

Why is it important to enable two-factor authentication in personal emails?

Count how many of your delivery apps, streaming apps, and other services are connected to your personal email. If cybercriminals have access to your email, they may end up gaining access to a number of other services as well. Therefore, it is essential to protect this account.


All in all, we can conclude that two-step verification is a simple — and fundamental! — security measure which can be easily implemented in your everyday life.

The process of linking the first access to the second ensures that those who do not have the code generated are not granted access to the account

The only way someone else will be able to access your network is by knowing the second combination requested by the service.

Therefore, never share the verification code with anyone!

Article originally written in Portuguese by Perallis Security Content Team: Autenticação em dois fatores: o que é e por que é importante — Perallis Security