From Coder Merlin
Within these castle walls be forged Mavens of Computer Science ...
— Merlin, The Coder
Types of Authentication
There are many types of authentication methods that are widely used to securely identify a user in order to access personal data, web servers, and many other physical and virtual systems.
- Passwords: This is probably the most common form of user authentication where a user must input a string of letters, numbers, and/or special characters to authenticate a device or service.
- Multi-Factor Authentication: Also known as Two-Factor Authentication, this is where there are two layers of verification in order for the user to be authenticated. The best example of this is where you have to type in your password, and then you get an SMS with a verification code in order to gain access.
- Biometrics: This is often used on physical devices like doors and phones, and uses bodily features like eyes, face, or fingers in order for a user to gain access. They can also be used virtually, like using a fingerprint scanner to unlock an app on your phone.
- Facial: Often shipped with phones and other devices today, this is considered to be one of the more secure types of user authentication. There are two types. 2D scanning is less secure and is more easily cracked by holding up a photo to the scanner. On the other hand, 3D recognition, used notably by Apple, uses IR and other technologies in order to more securely authenticate your face.
- Token-Based Authentication