Written on 11 July 2020, 04:50pm
Written on 26 December 2019, 02:40pm
1. Liverpool FC. I am supporting Liverpool since the legendary 2005 Istanbul CL final and watching them closely since 2012-2013. In 2019 they produced one of the best comebacks in the history of football, they won 3 trophies and, after winning the Club World Cup, they can claim they are the best football team on Earth.
Would absolutely love to see them also winning the Premier League trophy in May 2020.
3. Nintendo Switch. Because it can bring the family together in amazing ways during the long, winter evenings. And because it allows the players to actually move while playing (with games such as Just Dance, Fitness Boxing, etc)
4. Security. I know, it was also present in the 2018 list. But guess what, I am pretty sure it will still be present in 2020. I am working in this field and I am enjoying every minute of it. I built how2factor.info, I attended a great workshop and learned a lot from a lot of sources.
7. A place: southern Spain. Because of their over 300 days of sun every year, friendly people, affordable living and great cuisine.
8. A device: the Apple Watch. Because it changes my well-being in a subtle, but massive way.
9. A series: Stranger Things. Because it’s about childhood, friendship, courage and the atmosphere brings back nostalgic memories.
10. A game: Heroes of Might and Magic III. Because I still enjoy playing it after 18 years…
So, I made how2factor.info.
It all started a few days ago, with my PayPal account being inaccessible because I no longer had access to my Google Authenticator app. I described the issue in a previous post, and the conclusion was that’s ultimately up to us, the users, to make sure we do 2FA right in order to fully enjoy its benefits.
The story was picked up by Troy Hunt, one of the most important figures in the infosec world, and his conclusion was:
How do normal everyday people get by if we techies struggle?!Troy Hunt – Weekly update 157
Well, I decided to do something to help the normal everyday people 🙂
How2factor.info tries to keep things simple. There are tons of things that I did not cover: the differences between 2FA and MFA, the blurry lines between something that you know/have/are or the advantages of the Universal 2nd Factor (U2F). I also didn’t want the instructions to be complex.
But that was on purpose. The goal was to make 2FA less scary for our non-techie friends.
I also did not go too much into the 2FA limitations, including the things that 2FA cannot fix. Some people even argue that you don’t need 2FA at all if you’re using a complex passord and a password manager. The bottom line is that 2FA represents a massive improvement over 1FA and it prevents the vast majority of account takeover attacks.
2FA is better than 1FA in the same way two locks are better than one lock:
Security is not binary, which is obvious if you give it even a moment’s thought. A locked door is more secure than an unlocked one. A door with two locks is more secure than one with a single lock. A locked door with a locked gate in front of it is more secure than one without a gate.John Gruber
The outline of the website is more or less the hierarchy of authentication as described by Troy here. There is also a helpful part at the end, where I linked to several step-by-step guides to set up 2FA on popular websites. I also created a separate page with my own notes about enabling 2FA for popular websites.
Some things that did not fit in
If you are forced to answer security questions, then cheat: your first pet name was
gAoEh0jRN1LbscAC1reoL9F2De6 and your mother maiden name was
W5kmtuWIcIl0hxc2p6PW80ImIdB. Save these in your password manager in case you forget them 😉 The idea is to avoid providing personal information that can be easily retrieved by someone else.
How to back up hardware keys? Google Advanced Protection program actually forces you to have two keys (one primary, one backup). Dropbox offers you rescue codes – which you can print and/or store in your password manager.
The making of
I built the website using Carrd. Incredibly easy to use, HTTPS out of the box, no worries about the hosting and looking good on every device on Earth. Some of the background images come from the awesome people who offer them for free on Unsplash. The logo image comes from icons8.com, and yes, I know it looks like more like a bucket and less like a lock. Finally, the font combination was inspired by Pieter Levels and his Make book, while the color scheme was recommended by coolors.co.