A significant part of our lives happen online—banking, shopping and other transactions that involve money. It’s no surprise websites have become the target of criminals, hacking and stealing not just money but sensitive information, too.
That is why online businesses are continuously looking for ways to protect their websites. One way of adding a layer of protection to it is by using two-factor authentication.
What is two-factor authentication?
Having a username and password to access your website or account protects it from unauthorized access. But passwords have become vulnerable over the years. If the password used is not strong enough, it is bound to be hacked.
So aside from having just a username and password to gain access, users will be required to authenticate their login by providing another piece of information. It could be an answer to a secret question or you input a code sent to your phone or email. Without this second factor, the username and password alone won’t be enough to unlock the account. This is what two-factor authentication is.
Advantages and disadvantages of two-factor authentication
There’s no question that two-factor authentication does make your site very secure. It reduces the probability for a hacker to impersonate the user. Even if he manages to crack the password, he still won’t be able to gain access because he wouldn’t be able to provide the second element.
But this could be overkill in some cases. For example, for membership sites, it only adds an extra step that could inconvenience your users. Besides, there are other things you can do to keep your website secure like forcing users to use very strong passwords or changing their passwords from time to time.
A two-factor authentication might not be necessary. Although it doesn’t take more than a minute to complete, 2FA can annoy users and might just create a bad user experience for your members.
If you don’t have members or customers accessing your website, it is a feature worth turning on for the admin users of your website.