Passwords are not enough. Enable Multi-factor authentication now.

What do you know about password security? You have likely been told repeatedly that your passwords should be as long as possible. That they should be complex with numbers and symbols. That no 2 passwords should be the same.  As healthy as these practices are, they won’t matter if one of your passwords is stolen in a breach.

Passwords are outdated. They have been for a long time. A single field to login to your account is not enough to protect your account. A secondary, more unique requirement is needed and you should enable this feature now.

Multi-factor authentication (MFA), also known are two-factor authentication (2FA), has been around for some time now and is becoming more and more prevalent. You likely already have this setup for a lot of your accounts whether it be a code sent by email or text to you, or you have an authenticator app on your phone which provides a new code every 20 seconds.

MFA is essentially a secondary test which only you should be able to provide.

MFA is not perfect. It is still possible to compromise an account that has MFA enabled. However, it is far more difficult, and the evidence provided by Microsoft at the beginning of 2023 backs it…

In 2021 Microsoft enforced MFA on all new Microsoft accounts and last year they began to enforce MFA on all existing Microsoft accounts. This was something that aggravated a lot of users, the main reason being that users were needing to use their personal phones to login to their business account.  To Microsoft, along with a lot of tech companies, this didn’t matter. They said too many accounts were being compromised and that MFA was the best way to nullify this.

In 2019, Microsoft reported that over 99.9% of compromised accounts that were accessed did not have MFA enabled. In 2022, 1 year after enforcing MFA on all new Microsoft accounts, they recounted MFA had blocked 99.9% of account compromise attacks.

There are still a lot of Microsoft accounts that do not have MFA enabled, however all Microsoft users can set this up by logging into their account online. By the end of 2023, Microsoft have said they aim to have MFA enabled on over 95% of all Microsoft accounts.

On world password day, we recommend that you think of all the online accounts that you have that you store personal information on. These sites could be social media accounts where you share your life updates with your friends and family, or they could be online shopping sites where you have billing information stored. Take the time to login to these sites and see if MFA is an option.

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