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Why Your Business Email Needs 2FA

New forms of instant messenger apps might be snapping at email’s heels, but email is still most people’s primary online communication tool.

Think about how much sensitive information regularly passes through our inboxes. To fraudsters and cybercriminals, our email is a goldmine of contacts, facts, and figures.

Considering all the important information businesses of any size can send and store via email, securing these communications should be high on anyone’s list of priorities. Password-related cybercrime is on the rise, especially for those that don’t implement extra security. 

Securing your accounts including email with two-factor authentication, a.k.a. 2FA, is near the top of the list security experts recommend to solopreneurs, micro-business operators, and Internet users.

With two-factor authentication (2FA), a separate one-time code is required to confirm one’s identity before logging in. It’s usually sent to you via SMS/text or separate email account, offering an additional and essential layer of security on top of your username and password. 

Typically the 2FA code is a one-time short string of numbers but it can also include letters, and you simply enter this code in the fields provided before gaining access. When logging in to online accounts, 2FA can make most data thieves decide to skip out altogether on attacking you and head over to easier marks.

It’s why Namecheap now includes 2FA for free with all Private Email packages.

What is email two-factor authentication?

There was a time when financial institutions were the only places that added this extra layer of security. But since the 2010s, online retailers, social media companies, and cloud storage providers have been under pressure to adopt two-step verification procedures because of the many times that username and password authentication proved insufficient.

quill pen on tablet

Whether it was because people’s passwords were too easy to guess or because a breach on a company’s servers leaked their unencrypted credentials, time and again users saw their personal data accessed, stolen, and abused. 

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) is an option that provides an extra layer of security to your email account in addition to your email and password. When Two-Factor Authentication is enabled, your account cannot be accessed by anyone unauthorized by you, even if they have stolen your password. You can read more about 2FA on the security page dedicated to this topic.

Can you set up 2FA for email?

When it comes to our communications, our online storage, and our sharing sites, “set it and forget it” has become the ingrained practice. Providers had a strong incentive to make access to these vital services as frictionless as possible. Your devices remember your passwords for you and you enjoy convenient access ever after… until your password gets hacked.

Then, personal details extracted from your communications may be leveraged by identity thieves, with costly repercussions for years to come. It’s all too easy to fool people when they think they’re simply replying to a friend or colleague. In order to prevent those threats, 2FA should be enabled. Usually, when you create a new account on a website or create a new email address, there’s always an option to additionally secure your data with 2FA. For example, at Namecheap, you can easily protect your email account using this guide.

The types of 2FA available on Private Email

Namecheap offers two leading options for securing Private Email accounts.

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1. TOTP (Time based-One Time Password) This is the most common method of 2FA. Verification usually happens based on something you ‘know’ and something you ‘own’. Meaning that you still enter your username and password (what you know) and then receive a one-time code to a device (the thing you own). As the name suggests, the codes are temporary and you only have a certain timeframe to enter the code.

2. U2F (Universal 2nd Factor) – Here you don’t need to type in codes on your device. This technology uses a small, specialized USB or NFC device like Yubikey that contains your encrypted information.

The same authentication app or U2F key will work with the many other services that now support these methods of 2FA. Once you’ve configured your device to work with Private Email, you will authenticate yourself with your username and password and then prove you’re the legitimate owner of the account with a tap on the device.

Can I set 2FA up if I already have Private Email?

If you are wondering how to set up 2FA on your email account, you might be surprised how easy it is to do, and it’s even easier to use once it’s set up. Take a look at our easy Knowledgebase guide: How to enable 2FA on Private Email. Simply follow the steps to get started with both TOTP and U2F and secure your email hosting with 2FA. The services that allow you to use 2FA are all around us, both at home and at work. Consider setting up and implementing 2FA as part of your natural workflow. Securing your personal and business messaging is a must in today’s online world. If you want to learn more about email security, check out our quick guide to email security.

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Ruth Gonzalez avatar

Ruth Gonzalez

Ruth is a writer and blogger from the great state of Texas. She's passionate about all things tech and the newest, latest in electronic gadgets. She's also an animal lover and spends her free time volunteering for her local SPCA. More articles written by Ruth.

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