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One Time Passwords and Their Security

We have, on the daily basis, received several codes of 3,4 or 5 digits which we are required to use for verification purposes. But are these codes secure enough and who provides the uniqueness of these codes? Let us find out.

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Bank accounts and payment apps need to be secure with an identification process so that the monetary transfer takes place with the confirmation of the user. But now-a-days, every individual app has its own identification process and it generally comprises of an OTP or One Time Password.
An OTP consists of 4-8 characters which could be numbers, alphabets or in very rare cases, alphanumeric. There is no fixed meaning of the orientation of the characters. They are just a random group of characters grouped together to form a code in the form a pin or password. This code is then sent to the user who tries to log into a system or processes any type of data or procedure. The user then enters the code back into the system and this verifies that it is indeed the original user who is trying to access his or her data. 

The working of OTP is not difficult. It is just like a code-word people use over the phone to confirm that the one they're talking to is actually the one they want to talk to. This system prevents data leak and increases data security and personal safety. This technique is very helpful in e-commerce websites and applications and big businesses. But now almost every app on you mobile demands an OTP for your verification. 
Started by email websites ( mainly Google and Yahoo ), OTP is now a general thing. It enhances user's security and privacy which is essential in this era of technological advancement. But still, user needs to be careful with the following facts so that their OTP is not misused.
  • OTPs are One Time Passwords, which means that they cannot be used twice. So if you are going to receive an OTP, do not enter the OTP received earlier in the past. This will make the server think that you are fraud and trying to bypass the verification process. OTPs are mainly setup to prevent bots or computer programs from stealing the data of the user. So take your time to enter an OTP because wrong OTP might get your account blocked.
  • OTP is generated only for a short period of time so make sure to enter it as soon as you receive it.
  • You will never receive a call asking for an OTP from any website or app. If you receive such calls, immediately inform the police. 
  • Never email or message or share your OTP with anyone. You never know who, when and how will make use of your account.
Stay safe and alert, that's what makes security secure.

One Time Password
Shreyash Singh