When you’re shopping online this holiday season, there’s an extra step you can take to ensure that your info stored on websites is as safe as it can be.
What is two-factor authentication?
As you go about your business online — whether it’s logging on to your bank’s website or that of an e-retailer like Amazon — you leave enough info out there for criminals to misuse.
To lessen the danger, many popular websites make use of two-factor authentication to safeguard their customers. Amazon (thankfully) has now joined their ranks.
If you’re not familiar with two-factor authentication, it’s a process that requires you to go through an additional step to authenticate who you are when doing a transaction. It’s sometimes also referred to as two-step authentication.
The most common type of second-layer authentication is a security token (FSR token or fob that you carry with you). Many banks or brokerage firms will give you one of these devices if you call and ask for it. The security token generates a 6-digit code that changes every 30 seconds. So when you log in, you enter your username and password as usual and then also the latest six digits from your token.
Another way to have a second layer of authentication is to have a verbal password put onto your account. But note this well: Most financial outfits will *not* give you any prompt to remember your verbal password — so you’ve got to be sure you have it memorized!
For more ways to protect yourself, visit our Protect Your Rights & Identity section.