Multi/Dual-factor Authentication–What is it and why use it? 07/18/2019

Securing accounts has been a problem for quite a while.  We often rely solely upon passwords.   If done right, we use unique passwords for each account.  Yes, that can become unwieldy and I wrote an article about password managers that very much takes most of the pain away from that process.  However, there is an additional item that can be done in order to improve security of your information even further. Setting up Multi-factor, Dual-Factor or 2-factor Authentication is pretty simple to do and can really help to mitigate account compromise. Usually, you are offered receiving a text messaging, an email to a specified secondary account or a phone call.

Now, these steps (unique passwords and MFA/DFA/2FA) do nothing to stop criminals from breaking in to  a company, scavenging data and stealing your account information.  But the MFA/DFA/2FA does block them from accessing your account via the front-door methodology of cracking your password and logging in as you.


Some Sites/tools/applications that use or offer MFA/DFA/2FA–Yahoo Mail, Gmail (currently, not Wesleyan Gapps Gmail account),, Facebook and Messenger to name a few. Please, look in to and enable MFA/DFA/2FA where you can. The few seconds it requires up -front will save you countless hours of frustration if your account gets compromised.


Vince Spiars

Information Security and Operations Manager–ITS

Wesleyan University