The New Zealand Bankers’ Association chief executive Karen Scott-Howman said: “We all know it’s important to protect your PINs and passwords when it comes to banking. There’s also another way to fight financial crime and keep your money safe.
“Most banks now offer two-factor authentication, or 2FA, to access online banking or to authorise transactions over certain limits.
“In short, 2FA is an extra layer of protection on top of your password. With 2FA in place, if an attacker knows your password, they won’t necessarily be able to steal your money. It’s like having a second lock for your door.
“Banks do 2FA in different ways. Some send you codes by text message to approve certain transactions, while others use a device or token to provide an extra layer of security for you to access your accounts.
“It’s worth checking with your bank to see if they offer 2FA, and how to activate it,” Scott-Howman said.
Two-factor authentication isn’t limited to online banking. It’s also available for other online accounts, including email, social media and shopping.
Cyber Smart Week runs from 27 November to 1 December and is organised by Cert NZ and Connect Smart. Turning on 2FA is one of four things Cyber Smart Week is encouraging people to do to be safer online. The others are:
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- Change your password – make your passwords long and strong, and have a unique password for each online account
- Update your operating system (OS) – keeping your OS up to date is a really good way to defend against bugs and viruses
- Check your privacy settings – set your privacy settings so you know exactly who can see what you post on social media
The New Zealand Bankers’ Association is encouraging people to get two-factor authentication (2FA) in support of Cyber Smart Week.