Authentication: main Types and Methods

(7 minutes reading)


Authentication is, nowadays, one of the artifices that guarantee most the security of users on the internet, preventing information of great value from falling into wrong hands. With that in mind, get ready to learn a little more about digital authentication, in addition to the main types and methods of application currently used.


WHAT IS AUTHENTICATION?

Although complex at its core, the concept of authentication is not a mystery. Authentication, as the word itself suggests, concerns something authentic, that is, something that shows truthfulness.

On the internet, authentication is a seal that guarantees the exclusivity of something or someone. Imagine that you land on a unique piece of content (like the one you are reading), and you realize that, in many searches you've done, you've never found anything like that. Well, this authentication gives the site, or the content, a kind of reliable "pedigree".

However, there are also certified authentications, which we will cover in detail below.

Basically, digital certificates fulfill the role of protecting users and their valuable information, such as bank details, passwords and access to e-commerce and social networks, among others.

For each user, institution or site, there is a specific style of authentication. But to know what the advantages and disadvantages of each of them are, first, it is necessary to know them in depth.


TYPES OF AUTHENTICATIONS

Although widely known, document authentication has a wide variety of applications, whether for biometrics, passwords and even tokens. Therefore, knowing how to identify them is extremely important so that you can evaluate and identify them immediately.

After all, depending on the level of complexity, you may choose to use more than one type of authentication.

Here are the 5 types of Document authentication you need to know about.


PASSWORDS AND PINS

Considered as the most common authentication options, passwords and PINs are nothing more than the combination of characters, such as letters and numbers, to form a code.

PINs, while very common for smartphone users, are not among the most secure options available. The reason for this is quite simple, all it takes is a small number of attempts for other users to discover your password and gain access to your information.

It is possible to get a sense of these facts when we analyze the number of social networks hacked in the year, or information and media documents leaked by smartphones. Therefore, evaluate very well before registering a “weak” password.


BIOMETRY

Biometric authentication has been gaining a prominent place among the most efficient methods of ensuring user security.

As its name suggests, biometric authentication aims to identify physiological traits of its users, such as:

- Iris and retina scanning;
- User fingerprint reading;
- Hand scanning;
- Face scan;
- Voice identification.


TOKEN

When it comes to authentication and security, it is impossible not to think about tokens.

Token authentication is one of the most secure in the world and the reason for this is quite simple. Tokens generate different types of passwords in a matter of minutes. Confused? So, let's imagine an everyday situation.

Imagine that a person saw the password you entered into your banking app, for example. Within a few minutes, the password that the person has observed very carefully will no longer be valid, having been replaced by a new, completely different password.


TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION

Two-Factor Authentication has an extra layer, providing even more protection for users.

SMS messages, emails and encryption readings from your phone's camera are just some of the main methods of verifying two-factor authentication, which works as follows:

1) In the first process, the user must enter a PIN password on their device (computer, notebook, etc.);

2) When the password is checked, a message will be sent to the user, containing a specific code;

3) Upon receiving it, the user must use it on the new screen that opened;

4) If confirmed, the user will then have full access to the required platform or service;


DIGITAL IDENTITY AUTHENTICATION

Supported by external characteristics, such as location, device and equipment, authentication by digital identity emerges as one of the most efficient methods of guaranteeing total user security.

A clear example of how digital identity authentication works is looking at credit and branch cards, confirmation tokens, among other methods.


MAIN AUTHENTICATION METHODS

In addition to the main types of authentications used today, we also come across some methods that imply its functionality, in question.

So, let's get to know the main authentication methods.


OWNERSHIP BASED AUTHENTICATION

As its name suggests, property-based authentication requires an object or device on the user's part.

A very common example of this type of authentication is traditional credit cards, bank account cards or even tokens, which require a device to be activated. This authentication method is one of the most effective and reliable today, as the method invalidates any type of intrusion by other people.


KNOWLEDGE BASED AUTHENTICATION

Knowledge-based authentication is one of the most inefficient methods of protecting your information.

Generally, the knowledge-focused method uses passwords and PINs, forming a code that only the owner recognizes. However, due to the fragility of this method, the number of scams applied to profiles that use this type of authentication has been growing astonishingly, showing its real deficiency.


AUTHENTICATION BASED ON CHARACTERISTICS

Based exclusively on “what you are”, the authentication by characteristics makes a true analysis in some specific characteristic of the individual.

Although it sounds confusing, the concept is quite simple, just look at your smartphone. It is likely that your device is equipped with some readers specific to this method. Want to see?

Today, most cell phones produced in the world have a biometric reader, which is used to protect the device from people other than the user. In addition to the biometric reader, the latest smartphones also have facial scanning and iris scanner, which further expand the security of the device and the information contained in it.

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