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What is 2 Factor Authentication and why is it essential for merchant security?

Editorial Team

4 min read
Person on computer viewing business data

Small businesses are increasingly becoming the target of hackers and cyber attacks for the simple reason that many small businesses lack the extra cyber-security that larger corporations have in place.  Small businesses retain sensitive information including employee social insurance numbers, personal information and home addresses, as well as customer data, making 2-factor authentication a must to increase the security of information.


Every small business owner should prioritize data security, no matter how “under the radar” they may feel. In fact, the risks are higher than expected and the consequences of a breach could force a business to go belly up. Roughly three in four small businesses don’t think they will be hacked, but about two-thirds of small and medium sized businesses faced a data breach in 2018. With so much at stake, protecting your accounts is not only a wise choice, but it’s becoming increasingly necessary.  

For those looking for a simple, effective solution, look no further than Clover’s two-factor authentication, a powerful protective tool accessible with just a few clicks. Of course, merchants should use a variety of security measures, but starting with two-factor authentication businesses create a crucial safeguard against lurking cyber criminals.

Read on to see how taking this very simple step can go a long way toward protecting your company and customer data.

What is two-factor authentication?

Two-factor authentication is a security measure that requires accessing a code from another device to log into your web dashboard. First, enable it with your Clover account by following the instructions below. Once enabled, whenever you login, a code is sent to your smartphone or your desktop computer. You then enter this authentication number to login to your web dashboard.

How does it beef up security?

As a small business owner, there are a number of factors that can make your business more susceptible to hackers including high employee turnover, a lack of IT support, remote employees and poor password protocol are just a few examples. These holes in the system can be easily plugged up with two-factor authentication.

This extra line of defense prevents hackers from logging into your dashboard and accessing a trove of highly sensitive data.

After all, cracking a password can be easy, but gaining access to a physical device that supplies the second code creates a major hurdle for hackers, which is what makes two-factor authentication so crucial and effective.

Will it make logging in easier?

The great thing about enabling two-factor authentication: you don’t need to reset your Clover password every 90 days. And it’s possible to enable a feature where you only need to enter a two-factor authentication code every 14 days.

How do I set it up?

  1. Log into your Dashboard.
  2. Go to Account Settings by clicking on Set Up in the left nav bar.
  3. Scroll down to the Two-Factor Authentication section.
  4. Enable SMS Authentication by entering your mobile phone number.
  5. Or set up two-factor authentication by using an Authentication App.
  6. Encourage all your employees to set up 2FA for their Dashboard accounts as well!

For more information on setting this up via the app, SMS, and more, click here.  

Can I set up 2 Factor Authentication on my computer without a mobile device?

Yes, you can help secure your desktop or laptop with 2 factor authentication by downloading a 2FA app to your computer – we suggest Authy by Twilio.  Authy is available on both PCs and Mac computers and is a great option for businesses that need their employees to have access to accounts without the use of a personal cellphone during work hours. 

After downloading the free app to your computer you’ll be able to access secure 2-factor authentication tokens straight from your computer, adding an essential extra layer of protection to your most confidential accounts. Click here to read more about using Authy for your computer, or download the app here.

Can I set up 2 Factor Authentication using an email address only (no computer, no cellphone)?

Unfortunately, no. You will need either a cell phone or a computer to download the app. 


Two-factor authentication could mean the difference between protecting your customer and company data and shutting the whole thing down. While employing multiple security measures is always encouraged for the stronger protection, two-factor authentication remains an essential early step.  Google found that 2 factor authentication alone blocked 100% of automated attacks, 96% of bulk phishing attacks, and 76% of targeted attacks.

So take a minute to enable it for your Clover account, and rest assured that you’ve taken a critical step toward protecting your valuable business from hackers.

For additional assistance with 2-factor authentication, visit our help page.  If you prefer to speak with a Clover Specialist, call 1-888-263-1938 and select option 2 for tech support then option 1 for Clover.


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