Two-Factor Authentication on Magic Online!
Posted on May 30, 2023
Greetings, Magic: The Gathering Online players! In the dynamic world of MTGO, every day is a new adventure, teeming with tough picks, strategic card plays, and epic battles. Today, we're excited to announce an important enhancement to your MTGO experience—one that's set to reinforce your account security and ensure you can continue your gaming journey with greater peace of mind. We're talking about the long-requested implementation of two-factor authentication, or 2FA, now available to all MTGO accounts!
As we’ve ventured further into the digital age, online security has become increasingly important, particularly for games and services such as Magic Online that involve a digital-object marketplace. Your MTGO account is more than just a portal to play a game. It's your individual space in a bustling community. It's a carefully curated collection of your favorite cards and decks, and a hub for your in-game interactions. Players should enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that their accounts are safe and secure. That's where 2FA comes into the picture.
What Is Two-Factor Authentication?
If you know what 2FA is about, you can jump right to the implementation details below. If you're unfamiliar with the concept of 2FA, don't worry—we've got you covered.
Two-Factor Authentication is a security protocol that requires you to verify your identity in two distinct ways before you can access your account. The first level of verification is something you know, such as your password. This is the basic form of protection most online accounts use. However, should this first defense be breached—if someone else gets your password—the 'Two-Factor' part comes into play.
The second level of verification, or 'factor', is something you possess. It could be a unique code sent to your mobile device or email, or a biometric identifier like a fingerprint. This second layer of authentication means that even if an unauthorized individual manages to learn your password, they won't be able to access your account without the second factor.
In essence, 2FA is like having an extra blocker on the battlefield for a critical attacker. If your opponent can overcome your first line of defense, you have a second defender in play to keep you in the game. This has several benefits:
- Enhanced Security: The most obvious and arguably the most important benefit is the added layer of security. By requiring a second form of verification, 2FA ensures that knowing your password alone isn't enough to access your account. This makes unauthorized access significantly more challenging and less likely to occur.
- Protection Against Phishing: Phishing attempts are a common cyber threat where a malicious party tries to trick you into providing your password. With 2FA, these attempts are less likely to be successful because even with your password, an attacker would need your second authentication factor—something they wouldn't have access to.
- Security Alerts: If someone with your password attempts to log into your account, you will be alerted immediately when this action sends a verification email to your account. This allows you to take swift action, like changing your password, thereby further safeguarding your account.
- Confidence in the Game: Knowing that your account has an additional layer of protection allows you to focus more on enjoying the game. You can trade cards, build your collection, and craft your decks with greater peace of mind.
- Community Integrity: By protecting your account with 2FA, you're playing a part in maintaining the overall integrity of MTGO. Secure accounts make for a safer, more secure gaming environment for everyone involved.
Enabling 2FA on MTGO
To give all players access to this security, we're offering two different forms of 2FA: email-based and authenticator-based. This allows all players to enable 2FA via their registered email addresses, while enabling authenticator-based 2FA for those who prefer that layer of security. To add 2FA protection to your account, click the gear icon in the upper right corner of Magic Online to access your settings, then click the “Account Settings” option on the left side of the window:
Under the “Profile” section of Account Settings, you will find the 2FA settings:
To turn on 2FA, you will be asked for your account password and the 6-digit code sent to the email associated with your account. Requiring two factors to turn on two-factor authentication prevents a bad actor who accesses an account without 2FA enabled from being able to enable it themselves.
Email-based 2FA works the way enabling it did, by sending a unique code to your registered email address when you attempt to log into your MTGO account from a new device, or after 30 days on a device 2FA remembers. You will be prompted to enter this code to verify your identity after entering your username and password. This method provides a simple and straightforward approach to 2FA. The only requirement is access to your email account, something most of us have on our mobile devices.
The second method we're introducing is authenticator-based 2FA. This method involves using an app, often referred to as an authenticator, to generate unique codes for account verification. When setting up this form of 2FA, you will confirm your identity via an email code, at which point you can use the QR code or enter the numeric code to set up your Magic Online account on your authenticator app.
When you log into your MTGO account from a device for the first time with authenticator 2FA enabled, you'll enter your password and then be asked to provide the code displayed on your authenticator app.
The benefit of offering two distinct methods for 2FA is that players have the freedom to choose what suits them best. If you frequently access your email and find it more convenient, the email-based 2FA might be your best fit. If you like the idea of having codes continually refreshed and at your fingertips via your mobile device, or you already use an authenticator for other services, the authenticator-based 2FA might be more to your liking.
Game On, Securely!
MTGO is not just a game. It's a community of players with a shared passion for Magic’s deep strategic gameplay and its opportunities for competition and collecting. Each account is a unique representation of a player's journey through the MTGO universe. By introducing 2FA, we aim to ensure that this journey is secure, and that each player can focus on the exciting challenges and experiences that MTGO has to offer.
Two-Factor Authentication is more than just a security feature; it's a commitment to safeguarding your digital assets, your personal space in the MTGO community, and the integrity of the game itself. So stay safe, and happy gaming, planeswalkers! Magic Online awaits you, now more secure than ever!