The two-factor authentication (2FA) has become synonymous with keeping your valuable cryptocurrencies safe. Some exchanges and wallets force customers to enable 2FA whilst other strongly recommends it. We take a closer look at 2FA. Is it an absolute must or merely a nice to have?
What is 2FA?
The 2FA is a great and secure way to ensure hackers can’t access your account and steal your funds. It serves as an extra layer of security. It can be activated via the free app on your smartphone. Once it’s been downloaded, you will have to log onto the app every time you wish to access your account. The app provides a time-sensitive code consisting of a 6-digit number, that you need to enter along with your login details. It means that even if hackers found a way to possibly get into your account, they won’t be able to get far since you have your smartphone with the unique code on your person.
Furthermore, the exchange does not have access to your 2FA security system as the pins are not sent to them, only to you. In a nutshell, the 2FA is there to ensure that only the rightful owner of a wallet or account can access their funds.
2FA – Nice to have or must-have?
Having a 2FA comes highly recommended. If you are serious about protecting your cryptocurrencies, get the 2FA activated for all your accounts. In addition, the best tool is the Google Authenticator app which is available on the Google Playstore. If you don’t have the 2FA and your account gets hacked, the exchange support or customer center cannot necessarily assist you to get your funds back. As previously stated, since your phone is with your and not in the hand of the hackers, it becomes increasingly difficult for these criminals to gain access to your funds.
Also, a second advantage of having 2FA in place is so that you can identify illegal operations. If an exchange or website or wallet does not have any 2FA security settings, the warning lights should go on in your head. If a site only asks for a password and no Google 2FA authentication, it could mean that your funds are exposed. Others who have fallen victim to this claim that after a while the website admin prevents them from withdrawing funds from their accounts. With the 2FA, you don’t have to worry about this happening.
What if I lose my phone or upgrade?
Should the unthinkable happen that you lose your phone, drop it in the swimming pool or it gets stolen, there is an easy way to ensure the 2FA sync with your new phone.
Following these steps, if you are using the Google Authenticator 2FA app:
- The first time you set up the Google Authenticator on your phone, the app would have provided you a backup code for in case you lose your phone or decide to upgrade. Get this code ready.
- Download the Google Authenticator app on your new phone.
- Click on “install Google Authenticator” in the Google Playstore, open the app and click on “Begin Setup”. Select “Manual Entry”. Enter your relevant email address as well as the backup code to sync. Remember to click on “time relevant” to ensure your phone is synced.
It’s as simple as that!
Activating 2FA step-by-step
We use the example of Luno for activating the 2FA setting
- Go to Menu, Settings, Security and two-factor authentication
- Click on the bar that says “Setup two-factor auth”
- This will take you to the Google Authenticator app in your playstore, download the app onto your device
- You will be given the choice of either scanning a QR code or manually typing a secret code. Choose one that suits you best.
- Your app will now provide you with a 6-digit security code that you need to put into your Luno account.
Furthermore, for a more detailed breakdown, click here.
In conclusion, it’s better to have additional security systems in place to safeguard your investment than risk losing it.