A light blue lock and key on a dark gray brackground.

Imagine you log in to your BYU-Idaho email account to look at your email just as you've done many times before. To your surprise, several messages have been sent from your account asking for “donations” for the League of Sinister Persons organization.

June 16, 2017
Writer: IT Communications Staff Writer

Imagine you log in to your BYU-Idaho email account to look at your email just as you've done many times before. To your surprise, several messages have been sent from your account asking for "donations" for the League of Sinister Persons organization (or LISP for short). Every person in your contact list has received an email from you and you've asked them for their money! YOU certainly didn't send those emails.

Concerning, no? You may or may not come to find out who did this, but you were most likely hacked. Some computer wizard used his powers for evil and your account was an easy target.

Why was your account such an easy target? Maybe your username and your password were easily guessed. Maybe you set your username and password to fill in automatically and it was as easy as picking up your computer while it was unattended and clicking "Login." After all, most of us have our credentials on autofill for convenience's sake. While this seems secure and relatively simple, it could put your account at risk. As web security threats escalate nationwide, it is becoming more necessary to take additional precautions against these threats.

One of these precautions is taking form at BYU-Idaho in what is called 2-factor authentication, or 2FA. With 2-factor authentication, you will still provide your username and password, but you will also need to perform additional action, such as responding to a push notification on a smartphone, answering a phone call, or entering a code that you receive via text message or a token device. Because of this, that pesky up-to-no-good computer wiz may get your username and password, but you will receive a push notification on your phone requesting access to your account. Now that no-good- computer-hacking baddie will be left powerless. It feels pretty good to be in control of the situation, right?

While 2FA may seem complicated, we assure you that it is a great, simple protection that can give you peace of mind about the integrity of your account. Your safety and security are very important to BYU-Idaho, and 2-factor authentication is another way of providing that for you.