Two Factor Authentication (2FA) is essential when using websites that have access to your cryptocurrencies. All the major crypto websites are under constant attack from some very determined hackers. The hackers know that these websites provide access to many millions of dollars and they are prepared to divert significant resources to gaining access. From previous successful hacks, they can afford very high powered computers. These computers can be set to try almost every conceivable password once they know your email address.
Many websites will attempt to block failed login attempts, but this doesn’t stop a determined hacker. The hacker will have access to thousands of different IP addresses, and they just set their computer to cycle through account logins until they are successful. You should be using a different email address for every crypto website you access and never publish your email address online.
Most crypto websites now include 2FA as an extra layer of security, and you should avoid any that don’t have this option. There are two distinct variants, either SMS based or software generated. The two most popular software-based 2FA systems are Google Authenticator and Authy. Users typically have one of these apps on their smartphone. Users must keep a record of the initial seed for recovery purposes if they lose their phone.
Some users opt for the less secure SMS based system as they are worried someone might find their initial seeds. The problem with the SMS system is that phones can be cloned and this then opens up your account to the hackers. Always use the software generated 2FA for maximum security. Ian Balina was hacked in 2018 despite having 2FA enabled, and he has suggested the hackers used various social engineering methods to gain access to his crypto accounts.
Latest 2FA developments
A more recent addition to 2FA is the hardware-based system known as YubiKey. YubiKey is an improvement over existing systems as it requires the registered hardware to be available when users sign into their crypto accounts. There are currently four different models available to suit different computer and smartphone systems. With no drivers or client software, the YubiKey eliminates potential security weaknesses associated with other systems. Don’t leave your crypto funds exposed to hackers, enable 2FA on your accounts today.
Financial analyst, smartphone app designer, technical writer, and crypto enthusiast. Blockchain verified graduate of MOOC 9, DFIN-511: Introduction to Digital Currencies, run by the University of Nicosia.