How Authentication Can Save Your Information

Posted: May 26, 2013 by IntentionalPrivacy in Identity theft, Privacy, Social media, Tips, Vulnerabilities
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Twitter recently added a new security feature that allows you to have your phone send a security code that you use as your passcode when you log in. While it’s true that using more than one type of account verification can make your account safer, does Twitter’s new two-factor authentication really make your account safer? Maybe not. Watch Josh Alexander explain it in this YouTube video and decide for yourself: Personally, I agree with Josh Alexander that Twitter’s SMS-based two-factor as presented in the video doesn’t go far enough to protect your information.

What makes a safer log-in? Well, believe it or not, when your bank makes you enter your user name on one screen [hopefully using HTTPS; there should be a lock somewhere on the page] and then the next screen has a picture that you chose and/or asks a challenge question or might even save information about your computer like the IP address. If the picture is wrong or you expected challenge questions that didn’t appear, don’t log in! If you log in from a different computer, you may get one or more challenge questions that you must answer before you’re authorized to enter your account. Adding SMS onto one or more of these authentication methods might make your log-in safer.

Yes, it’s painful, but it’s safer.

Why is what the bank does safer than what Twitter’s doing?

Because if you’re not really at the bank’s site, the hackers won’t  know which picture you chose or the correct challenge questions to ask you. Hackers can’t (yet) make a bank website using your picture or the correct challenge questions, so it won’t be your account log-in.

What else makes online banking safer? According to this article http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/upgrade-your-life/banking-online-not-hacked-182159934.html, use WPA2 on your home wireless router, make sure your computer is virus free (OS patched, use an up-to-date antivirus program), and don’t use public Wi-Fi nor public computers. Another tip: Don’t choose challenge questions that anyone could easily find out about you, such as your mother’s maiden name. Under some circumstances, you can use your phone for online banking. Make sure you use a password screen lock on your phone. They also recommended that you have a remote wipe program installed on the phone; if your phone is lost or stolen you can remotely delete all the data off your phone. (Yes, remote wipe actually works. I tried it and bricked my iPhone, but the Apple Geniuses came through like champs!)

Comments
  1. Precisely how long did it take you to write “How Authentication Can Save Your Information | Intentional Privacy”?
    It possesses a great deal of very good advice.
    Thanks ,Shella

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