How to Set Up Two-Factor Authentication

Leo has talked a lot on the Tech Guy show about using two factor authentication wherever possible to ensure the security of your online accounts. Two factor authentication requires more than just a 1 factor to login. This could include two of the following: something you are (such as biometrics like fingerprints or iris scans), something you know (a password), or something you have (a smartphone or hardware key). This could be called many things, including “Two-Step Verification” and “Two-Factor Authentication” depending on the site.

How can I authenticate Windows 10 after replacing my motherboard?

Episode 1375

John from Portland, ME
Windows Start Menu

John wants to know if he can reactivate Windows after replacing the Motherboard. Leo says he probably can. He'll just have to contact Microsoft and tell them what he's had to replace, and they will understand and authenticate. If he replaced more than half the computer, they may take issue. But with just replacing the motherboard, he should be able to get it authenticated. Windows may reject him when he tries, but then he can just contact Microsoft.

Will Microsoft ever stop authenticating Windows XP?

Jeff from Sun Valley, CA

Episode 1080

Jeff has a few Windows XP machines and wants to know if Microsoft will continue to support Windows Genuine Advantage for it to reinstall it. Leo says they will continue to allow that. Just don't expect them to release any new patches. Does he have enough RAM at 3GB? Leo says that is plenty, especially since Windows XP is 32 bit and can only see 4GB.

Are third parties using my credit history to authenticate me online?

Larry from San Diego, CA

Episode 988

Larry recently has had websites ask him security questions from some third party database. He's concerned because he's being asked these questions on sites that shouldn't have information on him already. Leo says that financial transactions and other personal information will be pulled by credit reporting agencies to verify you are who you say you are. Larry is concerned because of errors on his credit report, and worse, it gets people used to having their personal data as public information.