Multifactor Authentication (MFA) is a security feature offered by many websites, applications and devices that dramatically improves account security. Sometimes MFA is also referred to as Two-Factor Authentication or 2FA. Technically, MFA could refer to a system where there are more than two forms of authentication.
How It Works
If you have MFA setup for a given account (website, application or device), when you log in with your username and password, that account server is going to ask for a second, independent form of authentication before it will actually let you into the system. It’s kind of like when you open a bank account and they ask to see a picture ID and some other form of identification, like your social security card or a passport. It’s much harder to pretend you are someone you’re not when you have to prove who you are in two different ways.
There are several methods for which MFA can be achieved, including:
- Mobile Device Code
- SMS Code
- Email Code
- Physical Token
You can learn more about MFA, and sign-in methods, here.