Two factor authentication vastly improves your security, but hardly anyone uses it: only 10 percent of Google users enable the feature, for example. Why is that?

RELATED: What Is Two-Factor Authentication, and Why Do I Need It?

Research by Indiana University Professor L. Jean Camp and graduate researcher Sanchari Das suggests tech-savvy people believe their passwords are so awesome that no additional protection is required. Here’s Alfred Ng, writing for CNet about the study:

For their research, they purposely sought out tech-savvy students on campus to make sure the result wasn’t affected by people who just didn’t understand what two-factor authentication is. They wanted participants who had more security and computer expertise than the average person.

What they found was that while these students understood technology, they didn’t understand why they needed to take this cybersecurity precaution.

“There was a tremendous sense of confidence,” Camp said. “We got a lot of, ‘My password is great. My password is plenty long enough.'”

We understand why this mindset is common, but come on: there are all kinds of ways an attacker might get your password. Strong passwords can help against brute force attacks, sure, but what if your password is intercepted, or your account is phished? Two factor authentication gives you an extra layer of protection, one you’ll be thankful for should you ever be targeted.

We know setting up two factor authentication is a bit of work, and can be slightly annoying. But it’s a good idea to use, particularly for things like your email and bank account. Take a few minutes and lock things down, or you might really regret it later.

Image Credit: golubovystock/

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Justin Pot has been writing about technology for over a decade, with work appearing in Digital Trends, The Next Web, Lifehacker, MakeUseOf, and the Zapier Blog. He also runs the Hillsboro Signal, a volunteer-driven local news outlet he founded.
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