You are here Home Learn Turn on multi-factor authentication Turn on multi-factor authentication Protect your important accounts with extra login steps Multi-factor authentication means having extra checks to prove your identity For example, you may need an authentication code from a text message in addition to your password to log into your account. Having multi-factor authentication (MFA) gives you an extra layer of security The many layers of authentication increases confidence that the person logging in is actually who they claim to be. MFA typically requires a combination of something a user knows (like a PIN or password), something a user has (like a smartcard or physical token) and something a user is (like a fingerprint or other biometric) to access an application. Having two or more authentication factors increases your cyber security. It makes it harder for someone to access your files or account. Some options for MFA include: Physical token A physical token that shows a time-limited one-time PIN on its screen This is similar to an authenticator app, but it is a physical device. An example of a physical token is a device, similar to a dongle or USB, with a display that shows the code on the screen. Security key These can be used in addition to or in place of a password. They act like an electronic key. This is a physical token or card that prompts the user to activate authentication processes. An example of a security key is an electronic building pass or a similar device to a USB drive like a Yubikey. Biometrics or fingerprint Using your fingerprint, face or iris scan to validate your login An example of this is using Face ID or similar to login to accounts or unlock your phone. Authenticator app A mobile application that generates a random one-time PIN or password These can be stand-alone mobile apps or part of existing apps. The Google or Microsoft Authenticator apps are examples of these. SMS, email or voice call A random code, phrase or link that you receive or enter to access a service This is often referred to as a ‘one-time password’. An example is that before logging into a service like online banking you are sent an SMS code you then enter. Turn on MFA with our helpful guides for: Apple ID Facebook Facebook Messenger Gmail Instagram LinkedIn Microsoft Signal Twitter WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business Yahoo! 2 minute quiz Think you know MFA? Challenge yourself with our quiz. Loading... Was this information helpful? Was this information helpful? Yes No Thanks for your feedback! Thanks for your feedback! Optional Tell us why this information was helpful and we’ll work on making more pages like it Prefer to learn from videos? Check out our video explaining MFA and how to set it up Check out our MFA campaign Set up and perform regular backups Learn how to make a copy of your files so you don’t lose valuable data. Set secure passphrases Change your passwords to passphrases to improve your security online.