What is 2-factor authentication?

What is it?

Two-factor authentication (2FA) strengthens access security by requiring two methods (also referred to as factors) to verify your identity. These factors can include something you know - like a username and password, plus something you have - like a smartphone app to approve authentication requests.

2FA protects against phishing, social engineering, and password brute-force attacks and secures your logins from attackers exploiting weak or stolen credentials.

How it works

With two-factor authentication, your account can only be accessed on devices you trust, such as your iPhone, Android, or other smartphone. When you want to sign in to your ID.me account, you'll need to provide two pieces of information—your username and password and the verification code from your trusted device. By entering the code or approving access, you're verifying that you are in possession of the device and it's actually you that's accessing the account. For example, if you have an iPhone and are signing into your account, you'll be prompted to enter your password and approve the login event from the ID.me Wallet app or by entering the verification code that's automatically displayed on your iPhone. 

Because your password alone is no longer enough to access your account, two-factor authentication dramatically improves the security of your ID.me Wallet and all the personal information you store with ID.me.

Once signed in, you won’t be asked for a verification code on that account again unless you sign out completely or need to change your password for security reasons. When you sign in on the web, you can choose to trust your browser, so you won’t be asked for a verification code the next time you sign in from that computer.

Trusted devices

A trusted device is a device that you've already signed in to using two-factor authentication. It’s a device we know is yours and that can be used to verify your identity by displaying a verification code from ID.me when you sign in on a different device or browser.

Trusted phone numbers

A trusted phone number is a number that can be used to receive verification codes by text or phone call. You must verify at least one trusted phone number to enroll in two-factor authentication.

You should also consider verifying other phone numbers you can access, such as a home phone, or a number used by a family member or close friend. You can use these numbers if you temporarily can't access your own devices.

Verification codes

A verification code is a temporary code sent to your trusted device or phone number when you sign in to a new device or browser with your ID Wallet. You can also get a verification code from Settings on your trusted device.

A verification code is different from the device passcode you enter to unlock your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. 

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