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What is Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)?

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) - grants access only to those users who pass two different authentication forms.
2 minutes

Let's find out Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) meaning, definition in crypto, what is Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), and all other detailed facts.

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) is a method of granting access to an online or offline system or account that adds an extra layer of security. The users are required to provide two unique pieces of information. The first factor is the traditionally used password while the second factor is a code sent through a secure platform or even biometric authentication.

You can see this feature being implemented in many various platforms, including cryptocurrency exchanges. Users within those platforms must set a password that complies with the secure password requirements, however, if they want an enhanced layer of security and protection added to their account or wallet, they can easily set up two-factor authentication.

Two-factor authentication works like this - when the user wants to connect to his account they enter the password into the login screen which triggers the requirement for a second piece of information. This secondary information could be a security code, a link sent to your email address, a call to action button on an app, and many other 2FA options. It’s important to note that it’s not another password.

As mentioned above, it’s possible to employ biometrics as a second piece of information for authentication. There are three most widely used options:

  1. Fingerprint scan. Apple popularized this method with their iPhone 5s which was the first smartphone that scanned fingerprints in order to grant access. It doesn’t remove the need for passwords, but it speeds up the process. Fingerprint scans are still integrated within a lot of smartphones;
  2. Face recognition. Another method that’s widely used on smartphones. Their 3D cameras are able to effectively scan the face thus only granting access to the owner;
  3. Retina scan. This complex authentication method is generally utilized within systems that require an extremely high level of security such as the military or government. It involves scanning the blood vessels of the person's retina since each person has a unique retinal blood vessel pattern. It's considered to be one of the most reliable biometric authentication methods.