Secure your online account with multi-factor authentication
by Jacky Leung | Aug. 15, 2022
At Hawaiian Electric, we take our responsibility to protect our customers’ data extremely seriously. We have a team of dedicated information assurance professionals constantly monitoring our systems and working with third-party security vendors to ensure the integrity of our information. In addition, we’re always looking for ways to strengthen and improve our security. For example, we recently added multi-factor authentication to our Online Customer Service Center.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a method that requires users to provide multiple ‘factors’ (such as passwords, verification codes, PINs, etc.) to verify their identity before access to a system is granted. It’s also commonly known as two-factor authentication (2FA) when exactly two factors are needed for verification. Many modern websites and applications with enhanced security, such as banking websites, require users to setup and use MFA/2FA to login, so you might already be familiar with it.
MFA/2FA is more secure than a traditional password-only system because of the additional layer of security. For instance, if a user’s account password becomes compromised, the additional requirement of a verification code or PIN during login could deter an otherwise successful unauthorized access attempt.
Setting up MFA in the Online Customer Service Center is easy. Simply opt-in to MFA on the pop-up that appears after logging into the Online Customer Service Center, or in the MFA settings box on your profile page and click ‘Save MFA settings’. A new pop-up prompt will then appear asking you to enter a phone number, and your preferred method of receiving your verification code (either an automated voice call or text message). Finally, a verification code will then be sent to the phone number to ensure that it is actually valid and working.
Once MFA is setup, future login attempts to the Online Customer Service Center will require a verification code that will automatically be sent your MFA phone number, in addition to your account password. If you frequently login with the same computer or mobile phone, you can have the system remember your device, which skips the MFA verification code process for a few weeks on that particular device.
While MFA is not required on your account, I highly encourage you to turn it on and give it a try. I personally always enable it on my online accounts when there is an option to do so. The enhanced security and peace of mind is more than worth it, and vastly outweighs the minor hassle of having to enter a verification code each time you login. You can always opt-out of MFA in the Online Customer Service Center at any time you wish if you decide that you don’t like it.
As a final note, please remember that MFA is only an additional security measure. Having a strong password that isn’t shared with your other online accounts is still strongly encouraged and is vital to your account security as well.
Jacky Leung is a digital communications analyst at Hawaiian Electric.