How a Two-Factor Authentication App Can Help Protect Your Crypto Accounts
If you use any cryptocurrency exchange, you’ll want to use some form of two-factor authentication to secure your account.
In simple terms, two-factor authentication is a second layer of security that involves getting a unique code sent to an app or your phone. That code is used when logging onto a website on which you’ve set up two-factor.
The reason it adds security is because the code is constantly randomly generated and thus to get into your account your login info and the most current version of the code are needed. This means a hacker needs to get the latest iteration of your code AND your logins to get in your account!
Since cryptocurrency can’t be recovered if it is stolen in most cases, two-factor is extremely important when using cryptocurrency exchanges or online wallet services. So Kraken, Coinbase, Binance, etc… two-factor really isn’t an option, it is a necessity.
So, what I’m saying is you essentially NEED two-factor on all your accounts and if you don’t have it you are playing with fire.
The simplest and safest way to do two-factor is to sign up for Google’s 2-step verification.
Bottomline: you need to access exchange to use cryptocurrency in most cases, since you need to access exchanges you need to have some form of security on your account, two-factor is probably one of the best and most simple measures you can take to secure your account. So don’t sleep on it, choose your favorite two-factor solution or if you don’t have one use Google’s 2-step.
Beware phone-based attacks: It is generally suggested that you use a 2-factor app like Google Authenticator rather than phone-based authentication, because phone-based authentication is subject to sim swap attacks (where a hacker uses social engineering to get ahold of your phone’s sim card). That said, phone-based authentication is way better than nothing, so at least enable that!
Using a strong password and unique email: It is smart to 1. use different emails for two-factor and your crypto exchange logins incase one gets compromised, and 2. to secure the account your two factor is on in every way you can. Each layer of security is another layer of protection for you.
Nothing is foolproof: No security solution is foolproof. As eluded to above, if someone hacks your phone and gets all your information and access to your two factor, then even that second layer isn’t enough. Likewise, if you don’t protect the account you signed up for two-factor with and that gets hacked, then you can have problems. Point being, having two-factor on an account is way more secure than not, but there are a few rules to follow to better ensure security and no security solution is perfect.
WARNING: You’ll get backup codes when you set up two-factor, don’t lose those and don’t share them. It is like with a private key for your cryptocurrency wallet essentially. Meaning, you never share your codes and you always keep them somewhere safe and preferably offline (like a USB drive in a lock box).