Enhancing Online Security: The Importance of Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Join me on an exciting exploration of Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) in this article. I'll share my personal experiences and research to shed light on why 2FA is essential for online security. We'll discover popular 2FA apps and platforms, explore their features, and learn how they can benefit us. I'll guide you through the setup process, offering simple step-by-step instructions and addressing potential challenges. We'll also cover important aspects like managing backup codes and troubleshooting common issues. By the end, you'll have the knowledge and confidence to strengthen your online security with 2FA. Let's embark on this journey together and take control of our digital safety.

Adil Murshid

5/16/202310 min read


It was about 4 to 5 years ago when I stumbled upon the world of two-factor authentication (2FA) apps. Up until then, I had been relying on those mundane SMS-based verification codes. Little did I know that there was a whole universe of dedicated 2FA apps waiting to revolutionize my online security game. And so began my journey into the realm of 2FA.

Today, I want to share with you the incredible importance of implementing 2FA in your online life. Trust me, once you experience the convenience and peace of mind it offers, there's no going back.

As we embark on this adventure together, I'll be your guide, showing you step-by-step how to set up 2FA and introducing you to my trusted companions in the form of 2FA apps. These remarkable tools have become the shield protecting my online presence, adding an extra layer of authentication to my accounts.

But that's not all! I'll also take you on a tour of the key aspects of 2FA, unraveling its incredible benefits. From securing your sensitive information to thwarting unauthorized access and mitigating the risks of common security breaches, 2FA has got your back.

Importance of online security and the need for more protection

Imagine this: You're sitting in your favorite coffee shop, enjoying your morning brew, when you receive an email notification on your phone. Curiosity piqued, you open it, only to discover a chilling message informing you that your online account has been compromised. Panic sets in as you realize the potential consequences—your personal information, financial details, and private conversations are all at risk. How did this happen? You had a strong password, or so you thought.

This scenario is all too common in our interconnected world, where cyber threats lurk around every corner. But fear not! There's a solution that adds an extra layer of protection to your online presence: two-factor authentication, or 2FA. It's like having a digital bodyguard that stands between you and potential hackers.

With 2FA, simply entering your password is not enough to access your accounts. It requires an additional verification step, like a fingerprint scan, a unique code sent to your phone, or even a physical security key.

This extra hurdle may seem minor, but it can make a world of difference in safeguarding your sensitive data.

Understanding Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

In today's digital landscape, protecting our online presence has become more crucial than ever. With cyber threats on the rise, it's essential to stay one step ahead and ensure the security of our sensitive information. That's where two-factor authentication (2FA) comes into play—a powerful tool that provides an additional layer of protection for our online accounts.

So, what exactly is 2FA? Simply put, it's a security measure that requires not just a password, but also an extra form of verification to access your accounts. Think of it as having a second lock on your digital door. When you log in, you'll be prompted to enter a verification code sent to your trusted device. This code acts as a unique key, ensuring that only you can gain access to your account.

The importance of 2FA cannot be overstated. With passwords being increasingly susceptible to breaches and hacking attempts, relying solely on them for account security is no longer sufficient. By implementing 2FA, you add an added barrier that significantly reduces the chances of unauthorized access. Even if your password gets compromised, the intruder will still need the secondary verification code to breach your account.

By the end of this article, you'll have a comprehensive understanding of why 2FA is an essential component of your online security strategy. Whether you're a casual internet user, a business professional, or someone who values the safety of their personal information, learning about and adopting 2FA will greatly enhance your digital defenses.

Advantages of Using 2FA

Implementing Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) brings forth a multitude of advantages that significantly bolster your online security. Firstly, it provides enhanced protection against unauthorized access to your accounts. With the added layer of authentication, even if someone manages to obtain your password, they will still need the second factor to gain entry.

This acts as a powerful deterrent against potential hackers and intruders. Secondly, 2FA serves as a robust defense against phishing attacks and credential theft. Since the second factor is often time-sensitive and unique, it becomes nearly impossible for attackers to replicate or intercept it.

This protects you from falling victim to deceptive schemes that aim to steal your login credentials. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, 2FA plays a crucial role in safeguarding your sensitive information and personal data. By adding an extra layer of authentication, it ensures that only authorized individuals with both the password and second factor can access your accounts, providing you with peace of mind and reinforcing your overall online security.

black background with yellow text overaly
black background with yellow text overaly

Photo by Fab Lentz on Unsplash

Exploring the Journey of 2FA: From SMS to Authy, Aegis, 1Password, and Beyond

I used to rely on 2FA via SMS, but as I delved deeper into the world of two-factor authentication, I realized the limitations of SMS authentication. That's when I discovered Google Authenticator, hoping for a more secure solution. However, I soon found out that it lacked a crucial feature: the ability to back up my 2FA data. Feeling stuck, I stumbled upon Authy, a comprehensive 2FA solution that checked all the boxes with default encryption, backup support, multi-device compatibility, PIN, and fingerprint options. Authy quickly became my go-to and primary 2FA app. However, as time passed, I noticed a lack of updates and new features, including the absence of a browser extension. This prompted me to explore alternatives, watching videos and reading articles in search of a better solution. I came across Aegis, which seemed promising as an alternative, but I found it less user-friendly for beginners. Eventually, I shifted to the 2FA system offered by 1Password, which provided the convenience of managing passwords and 2FA in one place. Yet, a lingering concern remained: the fear of losing access to all my online accounts if something went wrong. I continued my quest for a backup service dedicated to 2FA and continued using Authy, hoping for a convincing alternative. Then, just last week, my search finally ended. I discovered a new and impressive option that ticked all the boxes: 2FAS. This open-source and free app provided everything I was looking for. It didn't require email or phone details for login, offered backup options with Google Drive, and featured an incredible "show next token" function. Unlike other apps where I had to wait for the next 2FA code within a 10-second timeframe, 2FAS automatically copied the next token, streamlining the process. The creators of 2FAS went above and beyond, providing YouTube videos, user support, and fostering engagement. The app's modern design and the team's dedication to user experience were truly commendable. In contrast, when visiting the Authy website, I couldn't help but wonder why they hadn't updated their platform to match the times. While Authy is by no means a bad choice and I've even recommended it to family members, I sought an app that truly resonated with me daily, becoming my primary 2FA app. That's when I discovered 2FAS, and it won me over not only for its aesthetics but also for the team's commitment to user satisfaction, ease of use, and community awareness. As for Authy, I continue to use it as a backup solution, recognizing the importance of having a reliable backup for my 2FA data.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up 2FA with Various Platforms

Alright, now let me walk you through the setup process using the 2FAS app. I'll demonstrate how to set up 2FA with Surfshark via their website. Don't worry, it's quite straightforward, although it does require a bit of patience. Let's begin:

  • Firstly, open the Surfshark website (you can also use various apps on Android, but I find websites more convenient).

  • Look for the login option at the top right corner and log in to your account using your username and password. Remember to use a password manager like Bitwarden or 1Password for added security.

  • Once logged in, you'll see the "My Account" option in the upper right corner. Click on it to access your account settings.

  • In the account settings, find the "Login and Security" tab and click on it.

  • Within the "Login and Security" tab, you'll find the "Two-Factor Authentication" option. Click on "Edit."

  • You'll see two options: "Authentication app" and "Email address." Since we're setting up 2FA, select the first option, "Authentication app."

  • On the next screen, you can choose between two options: scanning the QR code with your 2FA app or copying and pasting the text. I prefer the latter, but you can choose whichever option is more convenient for you.

  • Now, let's switch to the 2FAS app. Open the app and locate the icon in the bottom right corner of the screen to add a new 2FA entry. Tap on it.

As I mentioned earlier, you can add the text manually. So, select the "Add Manually" option and type in the text displayed on Surfshark. However, if you prefer, you can also scan the QR code.

  • Give the 2FA entry a name, such as "Surfshark," and for appearance, you can choose the default icon or select one according to your preference.

  • Head back to the Surfshark website, click "Next," and enter the 6-digit 2FA code from the 2FAS app that you just set up for Surfshark. Click "Next" again.

  • On the screen, you'll see a "Done" message, and you'll be prompted to download a recovery code. Make sure to download and save it in a secure and encrypted location.

Phew! That's all there is to it. The process is similar on most platforms, so feel free to explore. If you have any questions or need guidance, I recommend checking out the official 2FAS YouTube channel. They provide helpful videos and interact with their users to make the 2FA journey easier.

Maximizing Security and Flexibility: Tips for a Smooth 2FA Journey

  1. Managing and Securing Backup Codes and Recovery Options:

  • To ensure a seamless 2FA experience, it's important to manage and secure your backup codes and recovery options effectively. Store your backup codes securely in your preferred password manager, such as Bitwarden or 1Password. These password managers provide a convenient and secure way to access your backup codes whenever needed. Additionally, consider setting up a secondary 2FA method, like using a different authenticator app, to provide an extra layer of backup in case of any issues with your primary method. Don't forget to add and update recovery options, such as email addresses and phone numbers, as they can be essential for account recovery in unforeseen circumstances.

  1. Dealing with Common Issues and Troubleshooting Tips:

While using 2FA, it's helpful to be aware of potential challenges and have strategies in place to overcome them. Here are some general tips:

  • App-specific considerations: Each platform or service may have its own 2FA settings or requirements. Familiarize yourself with the specific instructions provided by each service to ensure a smooth setup and usage process.

  • Support and documentation: If you meet any difficulties, consult the support documentation or help resources provided by the 2FA app or platform you're using. They often have valuable troubleshooting information specific to their system.

By effectively managing backup codes, using secondary 2FA methods, and keeping recovery options up to date, you can enhance the security of your accounts and be prepared for any potential setbacks.


In today's digital landscape, I can't stress enough the importance of Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). From my own experience and the knowledge, I've gained, I can confidently say that enabling 2FA is a game-changer in enhancing online security. I've witnessed the ever-growing risk of cyber threats and unauthorized access to online accounts, and 2FA has been my saving grace. By adding an extra layer of protection beyond passwords, 2FA acts as a formidable barrier against breaches and identity theft. It's a powerful defense mechanism that thwarts hackers who rely on password-based attacks or cunning phishing techniques. Implementing 2FA is remarkably straightforward, yet its impact on safeguarding personal data, financial information, and digital identity is profound. It gives me a sense of empowerment and control over my online security, providing much-needed peace of mind. I urge you, as readers, to take the leap and embrace 2FA for your online accounts. It's a proactive step towards fortifying your digital presence and ensuring that your sensitive information remains secure. Remember, combining 2FA with other best practices like using strong passwords and staying informed about emerging threats further strengthens your defenses. By adopting 2FA and staying vigilant, we can collectively contribute to a safer and more secure digital ecosystem for ourselves and others.

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