Google Authenticator

A handy tool to generate verification codes for enhancing security of your accounts.


Summary
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License Free
Link Google Authenticator
Simple and minimalist interface, works offline, complete with an internal clock to sync with Google servers.
No encrypted cloud backups.
Details

Over the past few years, billions of accounts have been compromised as shown in a data breach search website Have I Been Pwned, which is maintained by Troy Hunt, a Microsoft Regional Director.

Using a secure and unique password for your account helps reduce the risk of your account being hacked, but usernames and passwords alone are not enough. Do a step further with two-factor authentication (2FA) if you need to strengthen security of your accounts.

Instead of using SMS for 2FA, there are a few apps that generate codes on your mobile phone to verify your account when you log in.

Google Authenticator is one of them and a reliable tool for generating two-factor authentication (2FA) codes (known as 2-Step Verification codes in Google) on your mobile phone. It has a very simple and minimalist interface and works offline without a data connection.

The tool gives you a second layer of security for your Google account and any other accounts from the providers that support 2FA. For each of the accounts added to Google Authenticator, it creates a 6-digit code to verify the account when you sign in.

To add a Google account to the Authenticator, you will need to scan a barcode given while you enable 2-Step Verification and set up an authenticator app for your Google account from the desktop.

To add accounts from other providers, you may need to refer to the respective sites but the steps are pretty similar.

After scanning, Google Authenticator adds your account to the list containing 6-digit codes for 2FA. The codes change every few seconds automatically by Google Authenticator. As an added feature, it allows you to adjust its internal clock to be in sync with Google servers.

Get more details about Google 2-Step Verification here.

Tips


Steps to enable Dropbox’s 2FA with Google Authenticator

    1. After signing into Dropbox, click your avatar, choose settings and select the Security tab;
    2. Toggle “Two-step verification” to “On”, click “Get started” and re-enter your password;
    3. Choose “Use a mobile app” to receive your security codes;
    4. Use Google Authenticator to scan the barcode provided by Dropbox;
    5. Enter the 6-digit code generated by Google Authenticator to enable two-step verification in Dropbox.

That’s it. The next time when you log in to Dropbox, you will need to enter a 6-digit code from Google Authenticator for verification.

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2 thoughts on “Google Authenticator

  • 2022-02-27 at 07:16
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    I highly recommend using Authy instead of Google Authenticator. Authy is 100% compatible with GA.

    GA caused me no end of grief when migrating from one device (IOS) to another. It shouldn’t have, but for a period of time I was locked out of my LastPass account, my Gmail accounts, everything that required either 2FA or was tied to my LP account. Which is everything.

    Authy is the bomb. I have it installed on multiple IOS and Windows devices, all running in sync, though getting them in sync took a little trial and error. But I can rely on being able to access all my accounts from any device regardless of 2FA.

    Don’t risk finding yourself in the situation I was in, migrate to Authy while you can.

    I have no connection to either company, just a temporarily freaked out and then fully satisfied user.

    Reply
  • 2022-07-19 at 11:59
    Permalink

    I agree. Authy works for me, seamlessly across two desktops, two laptops and my phone.

    Reply

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