Vigneshwar's blog


This is the second part of the 2-part series on access control and account security. If you haven’t already, read Part 1: The beginner’s guide to using a password manager.

What is MFA?

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is an additional layer of access control beyond user ID and password credentials for your online accounts. MFA-enabled accounts require a unique authentication key in addition to your user ID and password to verify your identity.


This is the first part of the two part series on access control and account security. After this, be sure to read Part 2: Multi-factor authentication is for everyone.


Let’s face it. In modern life, as an integral part of the digital economy, we have to remember a bemusing number of user account IDs and passwords. With each passing year, more and more services that we avail go online and thus compound this problem.

It’s not easy and it’s certainly not efficient to tackle this manually. And so, to reduce this heavy load, we all come up with our own hacks for storing passwords. This invariably results in us picking up some terrible habits for both choosing passwords and storing them. Some of these include:

  1. Reusing the same formula or password-ingredients across accounts over and over to the point where it becomes committed to our muscle memory and we could type them out even in our sleep;
  2. Storing passwords in really worrying ways such as

    • writing them in our diary that we might leave at the coffee shop
    • scribbling it on post-it notes which may fly away out the window; or
    • using plain text files on your local drive which would leave us locked out of all our accounts if the disk fails

How to cope with all this?