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Security Education Companion
A free resource for digital security educators

Two-factor authentication

"Something you know, and something you have." Login systems that require only a username and password risk being broken when someone else can obtain (or guess) those pieces of information. Services that offer two-factor authentication also require you to provide a separate confirmation that you are who you say you are. The second factor could be a one-off secret code, a number generated by a program running on a mobile device, or a device that you carry and that you can use to confirm who you are. Companies like banks, and major internet services like Google, PayPal and Twitter now offer two-factor authentication.