fca2019 wrote:Do you know if this makes your account any more secure? I was put off by it as with investment platform you have to download the investment platform app first on your phone and log onto this on your phone to enable two factor authentication.
However I am old fashioned and wary of having my investments on my phone, as I thought mobile phones are not secure if on public wi-fi which I use frequently? Just strikes me as a lot less secure all round.
Is Google authentication any better? Or are you just safer sticking to desktop PC without two factor authentication?
I seem to remember an old thread about this, but cannot find it. Thanks
Just as with stealing a car or breaking into a house, given a sufficiently determined attacker with sufficient resources you will never be safe, but some things are safer than others. A two factor authentication app on your phone is considerably better than any of these:
- multiple passwords / questions / passphrases (really weak, and generally not considered 2FA outside of marketing-speak)
- sending you an SMS (the SMS network wasn't designed with high security or internet banking in mind)
- sending you an email. Assuming you leave your email account logged in, anyone who gains remote access to your computer also has access to your emails.
Exactly how much more secure the 2FA app is depends on how it's designed. If you're being extra cautious then you should never use any sort of financial service whilst connected to public wifi, because even though a well-designed secure app is much more difficult to spoof than a standard web site, there's still a very slim chance that someone could interfere.
The reason the 2FA app adds security is that if a malicious person gains remote access to your computer (maybe you didn't update your web browser soon enough and then visited a malicious website, or maybe you accidentally opened an attachment in a malicious email, or maybe your children or a relative installed something they shouldn't have), then unless they also gain access to your phone, they still can't move any money.