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What is two-factor authentication (2FA)?

What is two-factor authentication (2FA)?

Two-factor authentication (2FA), sometimes referred to as two-step verification or dual-factor authentication, is a security process in which users provide two different authentication factors to verify themselves. It is a combination of two of the following:
  • Something you know (Your Password)
  • Something you have (Such as a text with a code sent to your smartphone or other devices)
  • Something you are (Biometrics using your fingerprint, face, or retina)
2FA is implemented to better protect both a user's credentials and the resources the user can access. Two-factor authentication provides a higher level of security than authentication methods that depend on single-factor authentication (SFA), in which the user provides only one factor typically, a password or passcode.