Today is Safer Internet Day, and with that, the White House made a very important announcement about the future of consumer cybersecurity in the United States. Focused on ways consumers and businesses can better protect their digital lives, today’s announcement included a renewed focused on encouraging the use of two-factor authentication in email and other key accounts, a call to action that TeleSign is proud to officially support alongside 24 key web companies including Google, Facebook, Apple and more.
“The President is calling on Americans to move beyond just the password to leverage multiple factors of authentication when logging-in to online accounts. Private companies, non-profits, and the Federal Government are working together to help more Americans stay safe online through a new public awareness campaign that focuses on broad adoption of multi-factor authentication.”
Two-factor authentication (aka multi-factor authentication or 2FA) is an additional layer of protection beyond your password. It significantly decreases the risk of a hacker accessing your banking, shopping, social media or other online accounts by combining your password (something you know) with a second factor, like your mobile phone (something you have).
A key part of increasing adoption of two-factor authentication is education. In our 2015 Consumer Account Security Report, we found that more than half of consumers (56%) don’t know what two-factor authentication is, despite widespread interest in adding new layers of security to their accounts. This is why we launched the “Turn It On” campaign, which features the world’s most comprehensive guide to two-factor authentication. This guide, which also includes educational videos and quizzes, includes simple, step-by-step instructions for how to turn on two-factor authentication for over 150 of the world’s most popular sites, including Email, Banking, Social, and more.
When one of us takes steps to improve our own cybersecurity, we are making the internet a safer place for all. It is this shared purpose that led so many to support today’s White House announcement. As stated in the letter of support signed by TeleSign and internet giants like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, Facebook and many more, we, “look forward to working with the National Cyber Security Alliance and its existing industry partners, the Department of Homeland Security and other government entities, as well as civil society partners to reinvigorate our collective cybersecurity and education efforts.”
Whenever and wherever we can, we are committed to helping consumers take the necessary steps to better protect their digital information. Whether that comes from our campaigns like Turn It On, or in our work with 20 of the world’s 25 largest internet properties, we are excited about the future of two-factor authentication and cybersecurity as a whole.
You can learn more about the White House’s announcement, by reading the full Fact Sheet on The White House Website. To learn more about two-factor authentication, you can visit www.turnon2fa.com. You can also join the discussion online by using the hashtags #CyberAware and #TurnOn2FA.