Everybody and their mother (note to self: check if my mother is really aware) knows about the importance of Two Factor Authentication (2FA) to protect your online accounts from bad actors.
Most of us use the default Google Authenticator to generate the 2FA code. You know, those 6 numbers that you need to fill in to login. But most of us don’t know that the Google Authenticator is tied to your mobile device. So what happens when you loose your phone, it gets stolen or it won’t power up again after you dropped it in the toilet bowl?
A world of pain will happen, that’s what!
You aren’t able to open the Authenticator app anymore and thus aren’t able to log into your accounts!
Maybe there are secondary options, or you can try to social engineer the support people. But even as likely you just lost access to your most important accounts.
So how to prevent this?
One option is to use the Authy app as an Google Authenticator alternative.
Authy is a free app and syncs to both your phone and the desktop app so you don’t have to look for your phone when you try to do your online banking on your computer. Authy also backups your logins to their secure cloud, so if a Russian rocket destroys your home with all your devices in it. You’re 2FA is safe and you can still login to your crypto exchange from the safety of the refugee camp.
- Download the Authy app on your phone and computer and setup your account
- Open your Google Authenticator and check all the sites listed there
- Login to each of the Google Authenticator listed sites and change the authenticator app.
Usually you have to go to account -> security.
From there you can either update your authenticator device or delete the old (Google) authenticator and setup a new 2FA with the Authy app.
Authy works on Mac, Windows, Android and iOS and setting everything up will take (depending on the amount of 2FA accounts you have) about 30 minutes.
Do it now! You never know what those damn Russians will do next!
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Prompt: A blog hero image showing a hacker dressed in black trying to get into a bright fairytale door of a brick house typical for the Netherlands, Visual Novel, Art Nouveau, Warm Color Palette, Evil, Artstation