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Black Friday - Online Security for Small Business

As Black Friday approaches, we are reminded of the importance of staying safe online. In order to help our customers and clients, we've compiled a list of tips and tricks to keep your account secure this holiday season. We hope you'll find them useful!


What is 2-factor authentication


2-factor authentication is a security system that requires two types of identification to access your account. The first factor is something you know, like a password. The second factor is something you have, like your mobile phone or a token generator device.

When you enable 2FA on your business account, the first time someone tries to log in with the wrong credentials (i.e., no 2FA), they will be prompted for an additional code that is sent via SMS or generated by an app such as Google Authenticator on their mobile device.


How does 2-factor authentication work


2-factor authentication (2FA) is a way of securing your online accounts by requiring you to confirm your identity with more than just a username and password.

There are four main types of 2FA:

  • Authenticator apps, such as Google Authenticator or Authy, generate time-based one-time passwords (TOTP) or static QR code that changes every 30 seconds.

  • Hardware devices like YubiKey generate TOTP codes based on secret keys stored in the device's memory. Each key has its own private ID number, so it never has to be shared with anyone else. This means only you can use these devices as long as they haven't been lost or stolen!

What are the types of 2-factor authentication


The best type of 2-factor authentication is the one that will work best for you. This is something you’ll have to decide on your own, but here are some factors to consider:

  • SMS (text) messages can be read by anyone who has access to your phone. If someone gains access to your phone, they could theoretically read any messages sent to you. For this reason, most experts recommend against using SMS as a form of 2-factor authentication because it’s not as secure as other options.

  • Emails can also be intercepted or spoofed in some cases; if an attacker gets ahold of your email account and knows quite a bit about you (like where you live), then they may be able to successfully trick Amazon/Target/Whole Foods into believing that they are actually sending out emails from within their own system without having any special knowledge about how those companies’ systems work or what exactly goes into generating an authentic looking login page on their website...


Where can I use 2-factor authentication


This is the question of the day, and it’s a good one! If you want to know where you can use two-factor authentication (2FA) then here are some answers:

  • Your email account. Most email providers offer 2FA as an option now, so if yours doesn’t yet, start asking and advocating for it. Some good arguments for adding 2FA to your email are:

  • Social media accounts. Many social networks like Facebook and Twitter now support 2FA — even Instagram has added it recently! However, don’t stop there; make sure that all of your other important accounts have added this feature as well. Examples include Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr (if you still use these). Plus there are lots more social networks out there with millions of users that do not currently support 2FA at all — but hopefully will soon enough!


How does Two-Factor Authentication increase security


Two-factor authentication is a way to increase the security of your online accounts by requiring you to enter two different things:

  • something you know (like a password)

  • something you have (like a code that changes every 30 seconds), or

  • something you are (like your fingerprint).


How can you set up Two-Factor Authentication for your account

  • Install Google Authenticator or a similar app on your phone.

  • Turn on Two-Factor Authentication in your account settings.

  • Open the app, and enter the code generated by the app and you're done!


Make sure you set up two factor authentication with vendors before Black Friday to keep your customers and/or clients information safe!


To help protect the identity of your customers and/or clients during Black Friday, make sure you follow these steps:

  • Set up two-factor authentication with each vendor you work with.

  • Make sure all of your vendors are using HTTPS when transmitting sensitive information.

  • When possible, use a password manager like 1Password or LastPass to manage passwords for accounts on other websites. This will allow you to log into those accounts without having to use two-factor authentication every time, but it's still important that you enable 2FA for all sensitive accounts (like Google).


Conclusion


The Black Friday shopping season is upon us, and it's time to start thinking about protecting yourself. We've all heard the horror stories of online scams, but with 2-factor authentication (2FA), shoppers can have peace of mind while they're spending money on deals.

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