Strong online security is the white whale of the digital revolution. With each step towards the final achievement, development and ingenuity necessitate that the individual takes two steps back. One step to familiarize oneself with the new technology, and another to determine the best foot forward. It’s an inescapable fact that technology moves faster than most people.
Rapid evolution isn’t inherently a bad thing if you have the right mindset.
As the digital era continues to bloom and explode into the future, individuals must maintain a firm hand on online security. The best foot forward is a simple, commonly touted one: Multi-Factor Authentication.What we say is important – So is what we do
The things that we say are important. The same can be said for how you say those things. You give away a lot of information to the listener based on how you formulate what you are saying – from word choice to inflection and accompanying delivery. Everything comes together to inform your listener or a passing observer. Your digital profile follows a similar logic, except that being careless can expose so much more information to a vast number of shadowy figures. Improvements to online security – both personally and through work or school – offer an avenue for moderating ‘what we do’ so that we don’t give away more than we intend.
It is no secret that a username and password is only one step removed from handing out the keys to your data with a ‘come on in’ sign. Improving password security by choosing a robust and complex password is one step in the right direction, but it still amounts to putting all your eggs in a single basket. (Check out our post on best practices to consider for your password policy.) When online security is at risk, one basket is far too few. multi-factor authentication splits your eggs into multiple baskets, increasing the chances that you don’t go hungry when the time comes.
Okay, so that’s not a perfect metaphor, but you get the picture, right?Making the jump to improved online security through MFA
Multi-factor authentication turns the online security dial to 11, and best practices can be found all over – you just need to know where to look. In terms of the average user, online security often takes a backseat to usability and simplicity – most people don’t like change or complication. However, opting to operate with a weaker level of online security opens the door for data breaches and the like. If that doesn’t bother you, just think about how much you could lose.
Learning that a simple Mobile Authenticator or Phone Call could have prevented private or otherwise personal data from being stolen or leaked online is little comfort to the one who lost everything. Your school/business may require multi-factor authentication, and for a good reason: it works. Improved online security through multi-factor authentication means a much safer way to navigate dangerous waters.
You wouldn’t set out on the ocean in a simple sailboat, would you?What can I do as an individual?
Improving online security requires investment from all levels: owners, educators, administration, and everyday end-users. Most personal and professional applications have an option for multi-factor authentication. Google allows you to enable additional security for your account through your account settings. The same can be achieved for Facebook and a multitude of other applications used on a personal basis every day. On the enterprise level, many applications will offer a second-factor option, or integrate with an Identity Provider in use at the organizational level.
As an individual, the best foot forward for online security is to remain open to utilizing multi-factor authentication. Rebelling or finding workarounds is a surefire way to lose everything – it only takes one mistake! Taking an extra second or two to type in a code or tap on a USB drive costs nothing, and the ability to operate with added security is already there and waiting.Stepping Forward Without Falling Behind
It is the way of innovation to forge ahead without stopping for those that fall behind. As the digital revolution marches on, we have a responsibility to follow suit – taking advantage of all options provided to us to improve our online security along the way. This is a duty imposed on each one of us that navigates the digital realm. The weakest link only serves to undermine the whole, and we must do better to shore up and weather the storm.
With multi-factor authentication, your online security is already two steps ahead of the curve, and you can tread easily in these newly chartered waters.