Why Two-Step Authentication Matters
All the services that we use on the Internet, such as e-mail, accounts to watch series or movies, social networks or any page to buy, will have a username and password. That key is the main security bar that will prevent anyone from entering. But of course, is it enough?
That’s where the two-step authentication. It is important to apply it as it adds an extra layer of protection. If someone manages to figure out the password, for example through a brute force attack, a keylogger, or simply by guessing, they could break into the account. What 2FA does is prevent this from happening.
Its function is to oblige to carry out a second step to log in. For example, it can be a code that we receive by SMS, by one of the applications designed for it, an e-mail, etc. That second authentication is the one that will allow us to verify our identity and log in. If an intruder has the password but can’t use that second step, they won’t be able to get in.
Therefore, two-step authentication is very important to use whenever possible. In the case of Microsoft it is and we can enable it in a simple way, simply by following a series of steps that we are going to explain below.
What to do to enable 2FA on your Microsoft account
In order to enable the multi-factor authentication at Microsoft, the first thing we must do is log into our account. We will have to enter the corresponding username and password and in this way be able to access the configuration to see the points related to security, which is what we are interested in.
Once inside, at the top we can see different sections. One of them is Security. We have to click on it and it will take us to a new page where we will see different options that we can configure to improve the protection of the account.
At the top right, as we can see in the image, the option to Two-step verification and be able to activate it. We have to click there. It will automatically ask us for the password again, in order to verify that we are really the legitimate user.
A first informative page will appear, where we will see information about the different options that there are and what we will need to be able to activate 2FA in the Microsoft account and then continue with the process.
After this we will arrive at the page where we will have to choose how we want to verify identity. We can do it through an application, through an alternative email account or through the phone number. We have to choose the one that interests us at that moment and we click Get now.
If, for example, we choose a phone number, they will send us an SMS with a code to verify that it is really us. The same if we choose the option of an alternative email account. In all these cases, whatever we choose, we will have activated Microsoft’s two-step authentication once the process is finished.
From this moment on we will have the account protected with an extra layer of security. If an intruder managed to figure out the password by some method, it would take that second step to gain access. This will provide us with greater security and avoid unwanted problems.
General tips to protect your account
After explaining how to enable two-step authentication in Microsoft account, we are going to give some general advice to maintain account security. Some recommendations that can come in handy to avoid intruders and that our data can be exposed.
Use complex password
The main, most basic thing is to use a key that is good. This is going to be the first security measure that we must keep in mind in the Microsoft account. We must use a password that is unique, totally random and also contains all kinds of characters.
The interesting thing is that it has letters (both uppercase and lowercase), numbers and other special symbols. We must always avoid words or digits that relate us and that can pose a problem as they are easier to find out for an intruder.
Have the equipment protected
Also, another important issue is having the protected systems correctly. This will prevent, for example, malware from sneaking into us, as would be the case with keyloggers that collect all the passwords we put in, and can control the accounts.
We can use a good antivirus for this. Windows Defender is an interesting solution, but we also have different ones such as Avast or Bitdefender, among many others. This is something that we must apply to all types of devices.
Install the latest updates
We must not forget to always have the correctly updated equipment. Installing all the security patches will help correct possible vulnerabilities and bugs that may occur and also put the Microsoft account at risk.
This is something that we must take into account both in the operating system itself, such as Windows, as well as in the applications that we use, such as browsers, applications to enter mail, etc.
But if there is something important to stay safe and protected, it is common sense. Must avoid making any kind of mistake that puts at risk our systems and, at the same time, the accounts linked to it.
For example, we must avoid logging in from links that come to us by mail or through third-party sites. We should always use official apps and make sure we are logging in from fully legitimate sources.
Ultimately, enabling two-step authentication on your Microsoft account is essential. This will allow us to gain security and avoid intruders. We have also explained some interesting tips to avoid problems and maximize account security.