If you regularly sign in to websites, especially financial institutions, you will have noticed that for many, there is now an extra step before you can gain access.
The extra step, called two-factor authentication usually involves a changing security code, which is either texted to your phone, or sent to your email. You must enter this code within a minute or two, or else you have to try again.
While this sounds like a good security measure, which it is, there are many situations where it can cause much more of a headache.
If you are single, and always have your phone by your side, two-factor authentication is fine, especially if the code is being texted to your phone.
However, if you are married and have a joint bank account, it means that at least one partner can only check their account if they are both together.
If a wife needs to check their account balance, but the security code is set to go to her husband's phone, she either has to wait, or disturb him and ask him to relay the code to her.
All the time this is going on, the clock is ticking.
It's not so bad if it's not an emergency, the person may just have to wait until the other is in a position to quickly pass on the code.
If it is an emergency, such as because of a potential account fraud alert, you don't want to have to be waiting a few hours for your spouse to get out of a meeting, or worse, if they are out of the state and in a different time zone.
There are several situations, such as a family member trying to pay the bills of an elderly parent who was admitted to hospital, where two-factor authentication can be a big problem.
What can you do?
If you may require someone else to have access to something online, it is advisable to not use the text message option.
What I would do if it were the case that several people may need access would be to create a unique email address, and have that set as the default method on any important websites.
That way, you can give the email login information to anyone who needs it, along with any bank logins.
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Terry Young is the founder and CEO of Internet Marketing and Design. Since 1997,
his computer programming and graphic design knowledge have kept his company
at the forefront of the latest technology in web development.