What is Two-Factor Authentication & how does 2fa work?

What is Two-Factor Authentication & How Does 2FA Work?

In this article, we will discuss what is two-factor authentication (2FA) & how 2FA works.

Remember the time when you had to verify your bank transaction by entering an OTP sent to your mobile device? Or when you were asked to confirm your subscription to your favourite newsletter by clicking a link in the email sent to you? That was two-factor authentication in action!

Two-factor authentication (2FA) signifies that an action is done in two different venues to verify a user’s identity. You can enable two-factor authentication on your social media accounts, bank accounts, crypto accounts, and even your mailboxes.

What is Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)?

Two-factor authentication is a security measure that requires two different pieces of information from a user to complete an action. The first piece of information is typically your login credentials (username and password), while the second piece of information is either a one-time code generated by your mobile device or a token sent to you in an email.

How Does 2FA Work?

Let’s say you want to log in to your Binance account on your laptop! 

When you enable 2FA on your account and enter your login and password for your account, a unique one-time password will be sent to a third-party device, usually to a user’s mobile phone. This password can be used to approve or deny a login request from another device. If approved, you can gain access and log in to your Binance account.

Why Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)?

Two-factor authentication is a security measure that helps protect your account from being accessed by unauthorized individuals.

By requiring two different pieces of information from you, 2FA makes it more difficult for someone to access your account. Since 2FA sends one-time passwords that expire in 60-120 seconds, it is almost impossible for hackers to enter your online account. Even if a hacker breaks into your laptop and phone simultaneously, they will only have a limited time to enter the verification code.

Turning on 2FA is extremely important for your crypto and NFT accounts, as the chance of financial theft is high. By hacking your Facebook or Google account, the attackers will only gain sensitive information.

However, hackers could run away with hundreds and thousands of dollars in untraceable money by hacking your crypto wallet. For this reason, the first step when setting up your crypto account is to enable two-factor authentication.

Types of 2-Factor Authentication Methods

Users can access their online accounts through many two-factor authentication methods, devices, or services. These range from a text message that will provide verification codes, a security key or token, or an app installed on a user’s device.

Hardware Tokens

A hardware token is a physical device used as a form of two-factor authentication (2FA). It is a security device that typically has a USB connection and is used to prove identity and authenticate users when logging into an online account. This is done by inserting or presenting the device when prompted and entering a personalised PIN code.

Hardware tokens are a secure way to authenticate and offer an extra layer of security for users as they do not require access to the user’s smartphone or other devices. They are also convenient and easy to use and can be used across multiple accounts and services.

Hardware tokens are particularly suitable for organisations that need to manage large numbers of users and provide a higher level of security and authentication than other methods, such as SMS-based 2FA. They are also suitable for users who need to access their accounts remotely or from public computers, as they can be used without needing a personal device.

Hardware tokens are also hardware-based and are extremely reliable and resilient against malware and other cyber threats. Additionally, hardware tokens are also quite affordable. This means they’re an ideal choice for organisations looking for an affordable two-factor authentication solution.

Two-factor authentication for mobile devices

Two-factor authentication (2FA) has become increasingly popular for mobile devices. This is because 2FA allows users to access their accounts even without an internet connection. In addition, 2FA on mobile devices offers an extra layer of security for users as their phone is not accessible to anyone other than the user.

To enable 2FA on your mobile device, you must install an app such as Google Authenticator or Authy. When you launch the app, you will be prompted to enter your login credentials and a six-digit code that will be sent to your phone as a one-time password.

How to Enable Two-Factor Authentication on Your Account?

There are a few ways to enable two-factor authentication on your account. You can use your online banking portal or social media platform settings to enable 2FA. Plus, you can also install an app on your phone (such as Google Authenticator or Authy) that will generate a security token for you when you log in to your account.

Best Practices for 2FA

When using two-factor authentication, make sure to note the backup code and keep it in a safe place. You will need this code if you cannot authenticate the transaction from your mobile phone. For crypto wallets, this is like the 24-word seed phrase that is required to restore the wallet on any device.

If you use your mobile device as a two-factor authentication method, ensure that your facial recognition is enabled on your device.

Moreover, it is good practice to enable more than one authentication method. When using two authentications, you can always use the other channel to authenticate when you lose access to one device. For example, if you cannot enter the password sent on your phone, Binance will send it to you via email. This way, you remain secure.


Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an important security measure that provides protection to your personal accounts. It requires users to enter two pieces of information, such as user passwords and a six-digit code, to authenticate their identity and access their online accounts.

This helps to protect against cyber-attacks and unauthorized access. Even if a hacker breaches one of the two authentication factors, they cannot access the account without the other. Two-factor authentication is simple to set up and use, making it a great way to increase your personal security and keep your accounts secure.


How does two-factor authentication work?

When logging into an account, users must enter two pieces of information: the user’s password and a six-digit code. This authentication code is usually sent to the user’s phone or email address. Once both pieces of information are verified, the user is granted access to their online account.

What are the benefits of two-factor authentication?

Two-factor authentication provides an extra layer of security for users, helping to protect against cyber-attacks and identity theft and prevent data breaches and unauthorized access. It is also convenient and easy to use and can be used across multiple accounts and services.

Are there any drawbacks to two-factor authentication?

The main drawback to two-factor authentication is that it requires access to your phone or another device to receive the six-digit code. If you cannot access your phone or do not have access to the internet, you will not be able to log into your account.

What is the difference between two-step verification and two-factor authentication?

With two-step verification, you are asked for two steps of the same factor. Whereas two-factor authentication methods require you to give 2 factors of authentication.

What does 2FA stand for?

2FA stands for Two-Factor Authentication, a security process that requires two distinct methods of identification from separate categories of authentication methods. The purpose of 2FA is to provide an extra layer of security beyond just a password and username. Requiring two forms of identification makes it much more difficult for an unauthorized person to access an account.

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