2FA, or Two-Factor Authentication, is a security process in which a user is required to provide two different forms of authentication in order to access an account or system. The goal of 2FA is to make it harder for unauthorized individuals to gain access to an account, even if they have obtained the user's password or other credentials.
The two factors of authentication typically used in 2FA are:
- Something the user knows, such as a password, PIN, or answer to a security question.
- Something the user has, such as a physical token, a one-time code generated by an authentication app, or an SMS code sent to their phone.
When 2FA is enabled for an account, the user must provide both factors of authentication to gain access. For example, they might enter their password as the first factor, and then enter a one-time code generated by an authentication app as the second factor.
By requiring two different factors of authentication, 2FA makes it much more difficult for attackers to gain access to an account. Even if an attacker manages to obtain the user's password, they will still need the second factor of authentication to gain access. This makes it much less likely that an attacker will be able to successfully compromise the account.