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8 Best Two-Factor (2FA) Authentication Apps to Protect Your Email and Social Media

It’s a good idea to have passcodes sent to your phone, but new keys and softwares can make the practice much easier and safer. What a ridiculous thought, right? The stories of people having their accounts hacked are commonplace in today’s environment. Safety and privacy online are now major concerns. Cybersecurity requires more than one layer of defense. A complicated password does a good job of protecting your information, but it can be broken as well. This article will list down some of the best two-factor authentication apps for you.

Two-factor authentication, often known as Multi-factor authentication (MFA), is an additional layer of protection that may be enabled on many major social networking apps and software programs. With two-factor authentication (2FA), you have an extra safeguard against cybercriminals.

How does two-factor authentication apps work?

In order to keep your online accounts safe, a security mechanism known as two-factor authentication (sometimes called two-step verification) can be enabled.

Rather of relying on just a single piece of information, like a password, to prove your identity, two-factor authentication apps makes use of both your existing password and a temporary One-Time-Password (OTP) sent to you via text message or email.

Let’s have a look at this illustration to clarify things. How strict are the criteria for accessing your inbox?

  1. Your email address
  2. Your password

Single Step Verification describes this method. We just need to enter our credentials and we’ll be in. But do you realise how risky this procedure may be? Your email address is easily accessible to the public. Hackers can actually access your account if your password isn’t strong enough!

This led to the development of two-factor authentication apps. No one else can access your accounts, even if they know your email and password. Using two-factor authentication (2FA) increases security by requiring you to log in with credentials that only you, the real user, have access to. Your private information will be safe from prying eyes this way. Two-factor authentication is currently supported by several widely-used platforms, making logins to them far more secure.

How does two-factor authentication apps operate?

While there are a variety of 2FA methods available, they all follow a similar procedural flow. Common steps in a two-factor authentication deal are as follows:

  1. To access the site or service, the user must input their credentials.
  2. First, the password is checked by an authentication server; if it’s valid, the user moves on to the second verification step.
  3. The authentication server sends a one-of-a-kind code to the user’s second-factor device.
  4. A user’s identity is verified upon successful completion of the further authentication.

While most MFA providers use similar back-end processes, there are numerous different MFA implementations, and not all of them are created equally.

Types of Two-Factor Authentications

Let’s check out how some of the most widely-used platforms these days are adopting two-factor authentication.

  • Email-based 2FA
  • SMS-based 2FA
  • Voice-based 2FA
  • Software token 2FA
  • Bio-metrics based 2FA
  • As a Push Notification
  • Hardware Token-based 2FA

The aforementioned authentication methods are used by a variety of businesses and services to further protect their clients and customers.

List of 8 Best Authentication Apps

For the sake of safety, we should probably use authenticator apps to safeguard our login method. Keep in mind, nevertheless, that not all authenticator apps can provide the highest level of security. We have developed a list of the select few apps that have been approved by the relevant authorities to provide this service. Read on for additional information about how to download and use any of these apps.

1. YubiKey; Authentication Apps

yubico two factor authentication

Call it the odd one out, but YubiKey by Yubico is the gold standard for two-factor authentication. This physical key provides the highest level of safety. Nonetheless, if a platform doesn’t allow hardware authentication, you can still utilise it with the YubiKey authenticator app.

There is no way to adequately describe all of Yubico’s offerings in a single list. Therefore, we will concentrate on their most recent ones. These keys have an Ingress Protection Rating of IP68, are built to last, and don’t need batteries.

The setup is simple, and the key is compatible with widely used programs like Gmail and Facebook without any problems. Key protocols such as FIDO2, U2F, OTP, Smart Card, etc. are supported by these keys.

YubiKey is adaptable to a wide variety of current devices because to its modular design. Even though the regular models are very safe, there is an extra level of security available in the form of FIPS-certified devices.

2. LastPass

latpass-auth

The popular password organizer does not include LastPass Authenticator. It’s a separate authenticator app that can be used on iOS and Android smartphones. The two-factor authentication provided by this program is unparalleled in terms of safety. To further expand its usefulness, this tool can be used to protect an unlimited number of accounts. If you already have a LastPass account, installing and activating this app will be a breeze. Some of the features it offers are:

  • Simple one-touch alert system
  • Cloud backup that is compatible with smartwatches
  • You can get this app for your Android, iOS, or Windows device.

3. Google Authenticator

google-auth

Google Authenticator, a two-factor authentication app, is widely used. This is a smartphone app that, once downloaded, will provide you with a unique authentication code that will expire after 30 seconds. All of your Google accounts should use it, according to Google. However, it has a wide range of potential applications in various kinds of websites. Some of the extra features include compatibility with Wear OS, a dark theme, and the ability to work offline. The Google Authenticator app has many functions, such as:

  • Algorithms for the most likely to prevail and least likely to prevail.
  • You can use it without being connected to the web.

It doesn’t cost a dime, it’s well-organized and practical, and it has a sizable following. In the future, you’ll be able to connect several accounts to this app. In this link, you can get the download for both Android and iOS. It can also be downloaded as a Chrome add-on.

4. Microsoft Authenticator

microsoft-auth; authentication apps

The best two-factor authentication (2FA) is available with Microsoft Authenticator, a trustworthy authenticator solution developed by Microsoft Corporation. It’s the best choice because you get security and convenience at the same time. Microsoft Authenticator guarantees high security by checking your device and network for authenticity and providing Time-Based One-Time Passwords (TOTPs).

As an added bonus, the app’s user interface is both attractive and well-designed, making it a breeze to use. This software is available for download on both Android and iOS.

Authy is a trusted two-factor authentication tool. It performs similarly to the comparable offerings from Google and Microsoft. Codes can be retrieved from it and used for authentication purposes. It works exceptionally well. In addition to being compatible with the most popular websites and account kinds, the software also allows for use when offline.

5. Authy by Twilio

authy-auth; authentication apps

If you don’t want to utilise Google or Microsoft’s programs, there is a wonderful alternative. Authy handles its job well and boasts a number of interesting and helpful extras.

  • Safe cloud storage with password protection
  • A method for coordinating multiple gadgets at once
  • Security Key Authentication Device
  • 100% free, with no in-app purchases or adverts
  • Download it for Android, Desktop, and iOS.

6. 2FA Authenticator

2fa-auth; authentication apps

If you’re looking for sleek authentication software, 2 Factor Authenticator (2FAS) is a great choice. Excellent software for six-digit TOTP authentication. Quick Response (QR) code-based authentication is just one of the many login conveniences offered by this software. It helps you save time and eliminate the hassle of accidentally entering the wrong information. Furthermore, this strong authenticator application is compatible with over 500 social and other websites. Its straightforward design makes it difficult to improve upon, yet it still does a fine job. Apps for both iOS and Android can be downloaded right now.

7. Duo Mobile

duomobile; authentication apps

Duo Security LLC provided us with the most robust authentication apps available for Android smartphones. Login security is prioritised in Duo Mobile. It includes a 2FA service that can be used with any service, from apps to websites. This software also features a notification system to let you know when it’s being used. After verifying the message, you can proceed with confidence on your subsequent login. You can use this app to manage nearly every facet of two-factor authentication. For both Android and iOS, a download is available.

8. Aegis Authenticator

aegis; authentication apps

Despite its lack of widespread recognition, Aegis is a solid 2-factor authentication tool. It’s similar to andOTP in many ways, but it also does some other things. Apps can be secured in several ways, such as by requiring a password, PIN, or fingerprint to unlock. It’s fantastic to have that extra degree of security. Most websites will function with the software, and it supports the HOTP and TOTP authentication protocols.

Finally, you can import from Authy and andOTP, create a backup of your account, and restore it on a new device. Equally, the program is open-source and free to use. If you wish to see the code, you may do so here. The Android version of aegis is available on Google Play.

Note:

DO NOT remove any social media account from the authentication apps manually. It’s possible that you’ll spend the rest of your life on the outside looking in.

Two-step verification must be disabled from within the service’s own security or privacy settings. If you no longer need two-factor authentication, you can either delete the relevant app or delete the account from within the app.

Conclusion

To ensure the security of your online accounts, communications, files, and data, two-factor authentication is essential. In the event that an attacker gains access to your login and password, 2FA-authentication apps will prevent them from accessing your account unless they also gain access to your mobile device. The entire process takes less than two minutes and increases safety. It is something I utilise on all of my accounts.

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