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Two-Factor Authentication 101

Two-Factor authentication enhances your account security by adding another layer of protection.
Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, has long been used to control access to sensitive systems and data. More and more online service providers are requiring 2FA to protect their users’ credentials from being used by hackers who stole a password database or used phishing campaigns to obtain user passwords.

Passwords Alone Aren’t Enough

Having a strong password to protect your account is important. However, hackers can use different tactics to steal or figure out your passwords.

  • Phishing attacks- hackers use these to trick you into giving up your login credentials.
  • Data breaches- scammers buy credentials stolen in data breaches and use your username and password to log in to the account where the breach happened. Always change your password immediately if you find out about a breach that may have exposed your information.
  • Password Software- if the hacker has your username, they can use software to try many different passwords, especially if the site doesn’t have safeguards to detect this type of attack.

Protecting Your Accounts

Signing into your account with a username and password is one way to prevent unauthorized access. This process verifies who you are. The password is an authentication factor. There are 3 categories of authentication factors:

  • A PIN, password, or answer to security question- this should be something that you will know the answer to
  • A one-time passcode delivered to you by text, email or from an authenticator app; or security key- is something that you have
  • Fingerprint, your face or other retina scan- is something specific to your biometrics
    Accounts with two-factor authentication require you to enter a credential from two of the three categories to log in.

Two Factors are Better Than One

Using 2FA is like using two locks on your door — and is much more secure. Even if a hacker knows your username and password, they can’t log in to your account without the second credential or authentication factor.

BCEFCU is committed to safeguarding members’ confidential information. We’ve added an extra layer of protection to your Online and Mobile banking account. Now when you log in, you’ll be required to enter a second form of verification. Learn more about 2FA at BCEFCU plus get answers to frequently asked questions. If you still have questions, we’re here to help. Contact Member Services at 410-828-4730 or [email protected].

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