Online security has been a hot media topic of late due to a number of high profile data breaches. The result – companies are making efforts to enhance security for web-based services such as email or social media applications. In a recent letter about privacy, Apple encouraged customers to use something called “two-step verification”. (see http://www.apple.com/privacy/), which can now be used for data stored with iCloud.
Two-step verification or two-factor authentication, as it is sometimes known, describes a security feature which contains two elements or steps: something the user knows and something the user has. A credit card with chip technology is an example of two-step verification: it requires something you have, the credit card, and something you know, the PIN.
Some email and social media applications including Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter now offer two-step verification. When two-step verification is enabled, in addition to entering a password, the user is also required to enter a code that is sent to them by text message. Two-step verification provides additional protection to the traditional username and password access which is used for many webmail and social media applications.
When considering whether to set up an account on a website, check their security and authentication procedures. Your personal information may be at risk.