Two-factor authentication, commonly abbreviated as 2FA, is a way of adding additional security to an online login process by requiring a second form of verification for each login attempt. These additional forms of verification can be as simple as an additional PIN number or an SMS text message code that must be entered, or as complex as a hardware key or biometric scan. This is often thought of as “something you know” and “something you have”.
Think of it as your ATM card and PIN. You have your card and you know your PIN.
There are a few different types of 2FA authentication. The one used by Beaxy is called TOTP. TOTP stands for Time-Based One Time Password. Using a third-party app, a six digit pass code is generated which has a limited window of viability. How long this period depends on the app you are using and the site specifications. In the case of Beaxy, this window is 30 seconds. As soon as one code expires a new one is generated. A unique cryptographic key is used to generate the codes. This key is entered into the app in the form of a QR code or a string of characters.
The third party app is generally installed on a smartphone, though there are options for desktop or laptop computers as well. This becomes the “something you have”. You know your account password, and you have your synced device which can generate a code for you.
Beaxy takes your security very seriously. While we do not require 2FA authentication in order to use the platform, we highly recommend enabling it. It may be an extra step when accessing your account, but by the same token it is an extra obstacle that someone would have to overcome to access your account without your consent.