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What is two-factor authentication?

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a security process in which a user is required to provide two different authentication factors to gain access to an app or account. The primary purpose of 2FA is to add an extra layer of security to the authentication process, making it more difficult for unauthorised individuals to access your account even if they have your password.

The two factors used in 2FA are typically categorised as follows:

  1. Something you know: This is usually a password or a passcode. It’s a piece of information that only the user should know.
  2. Something you have: This is a physical item or device that the user possesses. It can include a smartphone, a security token, a smart card, or a biometric identifier like a fingerprint or facial recognition.

To complete the two-factor authentication process, the user typically first enters their password (something they know). After that, they are required to provide the second factor, which could involve receiving a code on their smartphone (something they have) via a text message, a mobile app, or an authentication token generator. The user must then enter this code to gain access.

CFPS uses 2FA to protect your account from unauthorised access.

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