Being hacked is a thing many people are worried about these days. A recent story ran on slate.com about Matt Honan’s, a writer at Wired Magazine, experiences of being hacked. Last month all of the data on his iPhone, iPad, and Macbook was deleted, and his Google account and Twitter were hijacked. The hacker then used his Twitter account to post racist and obscene comments. This makes it glaringly evident that anyone can get hacked.

Luckily, there are many steps people can take that will safeguard themselves against being hacked. One of these is Google’s two-factor authentication.

Two-factor authentication

If you don’t know what two-factor authentication is, then you are at risk of being hacked. What happens if you want to access your online accounts? Generally, you need to simply enter your email address and a password, right? That isn’t good enough to dissuade skilled hackers today. With two-factor authentication, you must also enter a code that is sent to you every time you try to log onto one of your online accounts. This extra log-in credential may be the one thing stopping a hacker from breaking into your accounts.

How it works

Google has enabled two-factor authentication for its accounts. If you own a smartphone, you can install Google’s authenticator app on the device. Then when you log onto a Google account, you enter in both your password and the code displayed on your smartphone, a code that you alone, of course, should be seeing.

Don’t own a smartphone? You may use the two-factor authentication system with your PC or Mac as well. Just log into your Google accounts and Google will text or call you to provide you with your personal code.

Not widely used

You can use this extra defense to protect yourself against hackers. Unfortunately, not a lot of people use it. This is mainly do to the slight hassle it is to add an extra step when logging into accounts. But when you think about it, it may be the difference between being hacked and staying guarded.

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