These days you can never be too careful, especially online. With so many scammers out there trying to get a hold of all your important information, you need to be mindful of how you handle your login credentials.
That's where two-factor authentication comes in. This helpful feature will reduce the chance of someone getting access to your account without you knowing about it.
With two-factor authentication, also known as 2FA, you'll only be able to log in after you present two forms of authentication. That's usually your password plus an extra code that's sent to your iPhone via SMS or generated using an app on your mobile device or computer.
Two-factor authentication is one of the best features the online world has. Whether you want to keep your email or bank account safe, using a 2FA method will make it extremely hard for cyber criminals to get a hold of your private information.
While some platforms offer their own 2FA protocols, many rely on third-party apps to generate the codes needed for the second factor. The best part is that you can use most of these apps for free, so feel free to try any app that you like and switch it if it doesn't fit your needs. If you don't know which apps to use, here are some of the best 2FA apps you can find on the App Store.
Google Authenticator - Is It Still a Safe 2FA App?
You've probably heard of Google Authenticator. This app is easy to use and completely safe. Or should we say it was completely safe?
Unfortunately, a new update to the Google Authenticator app makes it more vulnerable to cyberattacks. You can now access your two-factor authentication codes on multiple devices, which is a pretty handy feature.
The bad news is that it also leaves the seed these codes use open for an attack. Since it's not end-to-end encrypted, someone could easily get a hold of your codes and generate them on their own devices.
Granted, you can keep this feature turned off, meaning you can still use Google Authenticator safely on your iPhone. Not only that, but Google will probably fix this issue in a future update, making Google Authenticator a really decent app to keep in mind.
However, it's not your only option, so if you don't want to run the risk, you can always choose another app from this list.
Apple's iCloud Keychain - The Easiest Option for iPhone Users
If you're a hardcore Apple user, then you're probably better off using iCloud Keychain to manage your two-factor authentication codes.
Starting with iOS 15, you can now keep all your codes saved on your iPhone. Whether you use Discord, Gmail, Amazon, or any other app that requires you to input a code, iCloud Keychain has everything you need.
What's great about iCloud Keychain is that it already does what Google Authenticator is trying to do: you can automatically sync all your authentication codes across all your Apple devices in a flash — and it uses Apple's end-to-end encryption, so it's very secure.
Twilio Authy - A Simple Yet Powerful 2FA App
Twilio Authy might look like a pretty simple app on the outside, but it actually has everything you need to keep your accounts secure.
For starters, it's got multi-device synchronization. Instead of having to scan all your QR codes on all your devices, you can add them to the Authy app, and all your codes will synchronize automatically.
Not only that, but Twilio Authy works offline. The app can generate any 2FA codes offline directly on your device, so you can use them even if you don't have a great internet connection or just don't want to spend your data.
But what makes Twilio Authy stand out is how versatile and secure it is. The app works with pretty much any popular app or platform you use, including Google, Instagram, and Dropbox. Additionally, Twilio Authy boasts of using the same algorithm that the NSA and banks use to protect your information.
Microsoft Authenticator - Great App for Professionals and Students
At its core, the Microsoft Authenticator app is a great tool to keep all your codes secure and log in to the biggest platforms you use — not just Microsoft apps but also Amazon, Dropbox, Google, and LinkedIn.
Moreover, Microsoft's app also comes with an autofill feature that lets you store all your passwords in the app. That way, you won't have to enter your passwords every time you want to log in to any platform. Don't worry; you'll still need to use Touch ID, Face ID, or your passcode to use this feature.
But where Microsoft Authenticator really shines is with Microsoft's first-party apps. You can quickly log in to any of your accounts without using a password, making it a great option if you work or are a student with access to a lot of Microsoft apps.
Duo Mobile - Basic but Reliable
Duo Mobile is a two-factor authentication app that does exactly that. You won't get many special features compared to other options on the list, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
The Duo Mobile app focuses on managing your two-factor authentication codes for other apps and platforms, and it does a pretty good job at it. If you're only looking for an app to authenticate your identity from your iPhone, iPad, or even your Apple Watch, then Duo Mobile might be the right app for you.
2FA Authenticator (2FAS) - An Open-Source 2FA App
2FA Authenticator, also known as 2FAS, is an easy-to-use, open-source app that everybody can use. What makes this app stand out from the rest is that it's completely free. You can use it to its full capacity without having to worry about paying a subscription.
Besides that, 2FAS keeps all your tokens safe inside the app. Not only that, but you can also create backups on iCloud, so you're sure to have access to any platform, even if you lose your iPhone. Additionally, you can also use the app offline if you want.
One of the good and bad things about 2FAS is that it doesn't store any of your passwords. That means you won't have to worry about the app stealing your data, but it does mean you won't have the option to autofill your passwords whenever you want.
Since this is an open-source app, pretty much anyone can make improvements to it, which means the community behind the app is what makes this such a solid option.
1Password - One of The Best Tools You Can Get
You've probably heard of 1Password before, and for good reason. This app is one of the best password manager apps you can find on your iPhone or computer.
What makes this app so great is how secure it is. You can protect pretty much anything — from your passwords to your driver's license and all the private information you need to carry with you at all times.
More significantly, you can access all your information from anywhere. Whether it's your iPad, computer, iPhone, or even your Apple Watch, you have access across the board.
And, of course, 1Password doesn't just focus on storing passwords. It also has a 2FA feature that can help you manage and store your security tokens in a safe space.
If you're looking for a powerful app that pretty much does everything, then 1Password is the best option for you. Unfortunately, it's not the most budget-friendly choice, but you do get a 14-day free trial to check it out. Plus, you can also share it with your family, which provides some extra value.