What is 2FA?

Tue 31 Aug 2021 ▪ 4 min of reading ▪ by Nicolas

2FA stands for Two-Factor Authentication – a security system that exists on most websites in the crypto world.

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In this article, we will explain in general terms how investors can protect their accounts using 2FA. Although the idea of setting up F2A on your accounts may seem a bit boring, it’s a precaution we advise all our readers to take.

Practical applications of 2FA

If you are deep enough into crypto assets, you will have heard of the numerous scams that plague the industry. While some of them happen at the exchange level or during ICOs where 2FA protection cannot help, others are made possible by sheer negligence.

Two-factor authentication allows you to boost the security of your account by requiring two types of confirmation — a password and a code sent to your smartphone. 

Usually, the existence of the second stage is enough to prevent unauthorised log-ins into crypto investor accounts, which in turn prevents scammers from doing their dirty business.

By default, the only protection measure securing an account is a password. Although most passwords are secure enough or near-impossible to guess, they still won’t prevent an experienced hacker from gaining access to your information. With 2FA, it becomes necessary to get through the second protection layer to access a user’s account.

The types of 2FA protection

There are several types of 2FA, but we’ll only cover two of them here. 

First, an easy-to-implement two-factor authentication method is the one that requires you to receive a code on your smartphone via SMS. Without having access to the phone number linked to the account, it’s impossible to log in.

The second 2FA alternative is Google Authenticator, an app that generates a different one-time password every 30 seconds. To log into your account, you have to enter the Google Authenticator password in addition to your own.

Are there any downsides to using two-factor authentication?

Safety-wise, there are no obvious disadvantages to boost the security of your account by using 2FA. 

However, it may be problematic on two levels.

Firstly, it’s important to have the possibility of recovering a SIM card with your phone number in case you lose it. Otherwise, you won’t be able to access your crypto account. The same goes for the Google Authenticator app, which requires extra caution in case you change your phone.

Secondly, some find it annoying to always have your phone next to you to consult SMS or Google Authenticator, though that’s a habit that you pick up quite quickly.

Does F2A guarantee that no one will access my account? 

In the end, the advantages of having two-factor authentication outweigh the disadvantages of not having extra protection on your account. The crypto industry is still young, and regulations in the sector are still developing. In our opinion, crypto investors need to protect their accounts by any means possible, whether on exchanges or wallets. 

Remember that there is no third party that takes care of securing your assets. That’s something each user must take care of themselves. 

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Nicolas avatar

J'ai découvert le monde des cryptomonnaies en janvier 2018. Arrivé au pire moment pour investir, je n'ai depuis lors jamais cessé de me former et partage désormais mes connaissances afin de faciliter l'adoption des cryptos.


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and should not be taken as investment advice. Do your own research before taking any investment decisions.