Multi-Factor Authentication: What You Should Know

Here at Energy Ogre, our goal is to make your life a little simpler by managing your electricity. That includes updating payment methods, monitoring your electricity usage, and being an advocate eager to take your call whenever you have a question.

There are certain roadblocks Energy Ogre can face from time to time that cause complications in servicing members’ accounts efficiently. Multi-factor authentication methods are a great example of a potential roadblock.

What Is Multi-Factor Authentication?

Also known as MFA, 2FA, or more commonly, two-factor authentication is a verification method where two (or sometimes more) steps need to be correctly completed or verified for a user to gain access to an online account.

A common example of multi-factor authentication is entering your password and then being sent an email that contains a button to be clicked before you can sign in to your account. It could also be a code sent through text message or asking you to answer a personal question like “What was the name of your third grade teacher?” before being granted access.

The Effects of Using Multi-Factor Authentication Methods on Your Electricity Account

Recently, some Retail Electricity Providers (REPs) have given their customers the option of setting up two-factor authentication for an extra level of account security. However, this extra step of signing in can make it more difficult for Energy Ogre to manage the accounts of their members.

Energy Ogre was created not only to lower Texans electricity bills but also to remove the hassle of fiddling with your electricity account itself. Setting up extra verification methods delays Energy Ogre access to your account to do what you are paying us to do.

This includes:

  • Updating credit cards for autopay
  • Reviewing your bills
  • Delays in the overall service of your account
  • And more

According to Energy Ogre’s Director of Customer Service, Judel D’Souza, “These are major issues, as it will take us longer to assist and solve problems if we cannot access the account,” Judel says. “This causes us to be more dependent on the member to fix anything with that specific provider.”

Common examples of the risks you may face.

Let’s say you just got a new credit card and have sent the information to Energy Ogre. Two-step verification causes us to be unable to update your old credit card for your bill payments. This can lead to missed payments and frustration.

In order to avoid that, we would need to contact you by phone for the extra sign-in information. Along with this extra layer of security comes an additional step and time delay for Energy Ogre.

Another example could be that you sent an email to our customer service asking if your bill amount was correct. Normally, we would be able to quickly log in and do research to spot an error, but two-step verification causes us to need to call or email you, requesting that you call in to give us the answer to gain access to view your bill. 

“But couldn’t I just send the answer through email?” you may think. Well, it is not advised to send sensitive information through email. Because of this, a straightforward email to Energy Ogre containing that information is not recommended. Also, sign-in codes can be time-sensitive and expire too quickly for us to use.

It's up to You

If you’re skeptical about not having extra verification on your electricity account, remember that companies often use modern encryption systems to prevent your general password from being hacked. But if you prefer to have two-step verification on your REP account, by all means, you can set it up.  

Ultimately, we take the security of your private information seriously. So we’ll work around any verification steps needed, that may slow down our usual processes. Energy Ogre just wants our members to be aware of the downstream challenges that may occur.

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