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There’s a better way to protect yourself from hackers and identity thieves

recode – “If you’re using texts for two-factor authentication, it’s time to change to an app. Here’s what you need to know. When people ask me for security tips, I give them the basics. One is a strong and long password with upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. (No, “Passw0rd!” is not good enough.) Each password should also be unique to each account (We love a good password manager!). And you always use two-factor authentication, or 2FA. (Don’t be like me, who didn’t have 2FA on her bank account until a hacker wired $13,000 out of it.) But the type of 2FA you use is also increasingly important. Text-based 2FA, where a text with a six-digit code is sent to your phone to verify your identity, is better known and better understood because it uses technology most of us use all the time anyway. But it’s a technology that wasn’t meant to serve as an identify verifier, and it’s an increasingly insecure option as hackers continue to find ways to exploit it. That’s why I recommend using an authenticator app, like Google Authenticator, instead. Don’t let the name intimidate you: There are a few extra steps involved, but the effort is worth it…”

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