What is Google Authenticator?

In this post, you’d learn all about Google Authenticator. This includes the Google Authenticator app, how to use Google Authenticator, how to recover Google Authenticator account and many more.

Google Authenticator is a software-based authentication mechanism that produces one-time passwords on your cell device that are time-sensitive.

How to use a Google Authenticator?

Google Authenticator is a software-based authentication mechanism that produces one-time codes on your cell device that are time-sensitive.

Before we get into the details of how the system operates, let us discuss an occurrence that will enable us to understand the underlying reasons and how this application defends its consumer group.

Bitrue, a Singapore-based company, was attacked in mid-2019. Approximately $5 million in XRP and ADA tokens have been stolen. The breach was successful because the hacker gained access to customers’ login credentials.

The majority of online digital asset exchange security measures need users to provide credentials in order to log in and access services. With the advancement of viruses and phishing tools, extracting these login credentials and stealing your crypto tokens has become pretty simple.

What steps can you take to protect your account from cybercriminals? This is where Google Authenticator enters the picture.

When you try to log in, Google Authenticator basically secures your profile by demanding a time-sensitive code that can be obtained only via the software installed on your phone. As a result, even if the hacker obtains your login credentials, they will be unable to log into your profile without total control of your phone. Here, the possibility of the SIM card being stolen is also removed. As Google Authenticator’s two-factor authentication ensures that the code is not compromised since SIM card data is not saved on the SIM card. Additionally, since it is time-based, it removes any additional security issues that consumers may have.

Google Authenticator assists users in establishing their identity in order to get access to websites and apps. It is a security mechanism used by numerous services to offer an additional layer of protection.

Using Google Authenticator

• First install and sign in to the Google Authenticator app. For instance, you’re using this way to link your Binance account. Click the “+” symbol and then “Scan a QR code.” A QR code will be issued on your binance account to enable Google Authenticator integration. Simply scan the code and presto!

• As a last validation, Binance may prompt you to input the six-digit number that will be created on your Google Authenticator app every 15 seconds. Do so immediately, and your profile will be securely linked to the app! Ensure that you preserve the configuration key!

• Once you log in to your account using your login details, the website or app will prompt you to enter the six-digit number before granting you permission.

Google Authenticator’s Necessity for Crypto Traders

When registering for a cryptocurrency platform, it is critical to enable Google 2FA to safeguard your crypto tokens. Following several cryptocurrency thefts over the coin’s history, many platforms have made this step essential. Not only does the program require a user to utilize several devices in order to recover access to an account. But it also ensures that cybercriminals do not have adequate time to breach two devices in order to get access.

If you are an active investor with a sizable holding of digital assets in your investing platform account(s), it is highly recommended that you utilize Google Authenticator as an extra layer of protection.

Additional Information about Google Authenticator

For authenticating users of software applications, Google Authenticator is a software-based authenticator that uses the Time-based One-time Password Algorithm (TOTP; described in RFC 6238) and the HMAC-based One-time Password Algorithm (HOTP; specified in RFC 4226).

Once you are logged in to a site that uses Authenticator (including Google services) or third-party applications that use Authenticator, such as password managers or file hosting services, Authenticator creates a six- to eight-digit one-time passcodes that they must insert in conjunction with their usual login credentials.

Authenticator is available from Google for Android, BlackBerry, and iOS.

On GitHub, the Android app’s official open-source clone may be found. This fork, on the other hand, has remained dormant since 2020. Similarly, the source code for previous models of the Google Authenticator iOS and BlackBerry applications is also accessible for free. However, this source code has been out of current for years as well.
The program is available as proprietary freeware in its current state.

A common example

Authenticator must must be installed on a smartphone before it can be used. It must be configured for each website with which it will be used: the website gives the user a shared secret key over a security gateway, which the user must save in the Authenticator app. This secret key will be required for all subsequent site logins.

To access a site or service that implements two authentication with Authenticator, the user must first give the site their login details and password. The website then generates (but does not show) the six-digit one-time password necessary and asks the user to input it. The user launches the Authenticator application, which autonomously evaluates and reveals the very same passcode that the user enters to verify their identity.

With this kind of two-factor authentication, just knowing a user’s username and password is inadequate to get access to their account; the perpetrator must either have access to the shared secret key or direct possession to the device containing the Authenticator app. A man-in-the-middle strike is another way to get into a site. If the desktop used for the signup process is infected by a trojan, the user account, password, and one-time passcodes can be taken by the trojan, which can then start its own login session to the webpage, or track and change the information exchange between the subscriber and the site.

Detailed description

The service provider produces an 80-bit secret key for each user during setup (in contrast to RFC 42264, which needs 128 bits and recommended 160 bits). This is passed to the Authenticator app in the form of a 16, 26, or 32-character base32 string or a QR code.

Following that, when the user launches the Authenticator app, the program creates an HMACSHA1 hash value employing the secret key. The text may be as follows:

• the number of 30-second intervals because since Unix epoch (TOTP); or (HOTP).
A fragment of the HMAC is retrieved and shown as a six-digit code to the user.

License for source code

The Google Authenticator app for Android began as an open source project but was eventually acquired by Google.

Google previously made the source code for their Authenticator app public on their GitHub repository; the development website for the app stated:

“This open source project enables you to get the source code for the application’s version 2.21. Newer editions include non-project-specific Google processes.”

The most recent open-source publication occurred in 2020.

With Google Authenticator’s de-opening, a free-software clone was produced, which is mostly a rewriting of the initial but includes some code from the original. The branch of this clone that is presently maintained is named FreeOTP+.

How to Add a Google Authenticator Account

Two-factor authentication is a long-winded term for a straightforward security mechanism that provides an extra measure of safety to your online accounts. Each time you sign into a new device, you must enter a one-time generated code. To acquire access to your Amazon or Gmail accounts, for example, you will acquire codes by SMS or an authenticator app. It will prevent unauthorized users from accessing your profile without first obtaining an authentication token. As a result, we’ve included this advice on how to connect an account to Google Authenticator, which will assist you in enhancing account security in a few simple procedures.

Procedures for adding a Google Authenticator account

Google Authenticator is the most widely deployed program for protecting your passwords and preventing keyloggers from accessing your accounts. This two-factor authentication method is simple to install on your smartphone and adds an additional layer of protection. Therefore, if you want to configure Google Authenticator, ensure that you complete the instructions outlined below.

• To begin, download and install Google Authenticator from the Google Play or Apple App Stores.

• Following that, you must enable two-factor authentication using your Google account.

After logging into your Google account, go to “Security and Sign-in” and choose “two-step verification.”

Next, scroll down and click on the “Authenticator app” icon.
Next, follow the instructions and choose between an iPhone or an Android smartphone.
Return to the Google Authenticator application and click the plus symbol.
At the bottom, you’ll notice two prompts: “Enter a setup key” and “scan the QR code.”

You must choose just one choice when configuring your Google authenticator. To add your account using the “Enter a setup key” option, you must personally add a 16-digit security code. In comparison, the “scan a QR code” option requires a can barcode scanner to verify and join your account. Ensure to choose the “Time-based” option, since this will guarantee that the code provided for verification corresponds to the app’s most recent passcode generation.

Viola! Now that your account has been connected to Google authenticator, you will be prompted to input a six-digit number each time you log in. Google Authenticator is a free tool that generates random verification codes every 30 seconds. This provides an additional layer of security to the sign-in process, safeguarding your profiles from hacking attacks.

Using Google Authenticator

Two-step authentication is available in just two modes: text message or authenticator app. Nevertheless, the majority of websites would prefer an OTP by SMS, which is an excellent approach to secure your account. But, if you travel often and visit isolated locations or go overseas somewhere your network provider is not available, you are likely to get shut out, since the verification SMS will not come until your network provider is available.

That is why I encouraged you to install programs such as Google Authenticator, which generates an OTP even if you are not connected to the internet or are using your smartphone in flight mode. Google Authenticator is rather simple to start up and use, as long as you complete the procedures outlined above for adding an account to Google Authenticator and ensuring the security of your accounts.

How can I configure Google Authenticator on my new smartphone in the absence of my old phone?

Do not be concerned if you do not have your previous phone. We’ll assist you in configuring the authenticator on your new phone. However the procedure is a bit complicated, carefully follow each phase precisely.

  • On your new phone, download Google Authenticator.
  • Next, go to Google’s factor authentication webpage and sign in using your Google credentials.
  • Scroll down to the area for the authenticator app and touch the “change phone” button.
  • Then, select the device type and continue with the on-screen instructions.
  • Alternatively, you may deactivate the current Google authenticator by tapping on the garbage symbol and verifying your choice. Then Google will resume distributing SMS-based authenticator codes.
  • Scan the code on the webpage using the authenticator app to acquire a six-digit number.
  • After you input the code, it will check that it’s all operating properly and will deactivate the code on your previous phone.

Download the Microsoft Authenticator application

The Microsoft Authenticator app enables two-factor authentication for your accounts. Since passwords may be lost, stolen, or hacked, two-factor verification enables you to use your accounts more safely. Two-factor verification encrypts your account with a second factor, such as your phone, making it more difficult for others to hack into it. The Microsoft Authenticator software may be used in a variety of ways:

Verification by two factors:

The conventional technique of verification, in which one of the criteria is your password. After logging in with your username and password, you have the option of approving a notice or entering a verification code supplied.

• Sign-in by phone:

A kind of two-factor authentication that enables you to sign in without needing a password by using your credentials and your smart device’s fingerprint, face, or Passcode.

• Generation of code:

As a generator of codes for any other accounts that enable authenticator applications.

• Authenticator is compatible with any account that supports two-factor authentication and the time-based one-time password (TOTP) standard.

Your employer may need you to sign in now and retrieve your company’s files and records using the Authenticator app. Even though your user name shows in the app, the account is not configured as an authentication method until the signup process is complete.

Download and launch the Application

Depending on your operating system, download and install the newest release of the Microsoft Authenticator app:

Android by Google

Go to Google Play on your Android smartphone and simply download the Microsoft Authenticator app.

Apple iOS 3

Go to the App Store on your Apple iOS device and simply download the Microsoft Authenticator app.

Crucial: If you are not presently connected to your mobile device, you can still download the Microsoft Authenticator app by sending yourself a link to download from the Microsoft Authenticator page.

Next stages

Configure your text messaging security information (SMS). Input your mobile device’s phone number to get a text message with a code that you’ll need to complete two-step verification or change your password.

Configure security information for telephone calls. Input your mobile device’s number to receive a phone call to verify your identity or reset your password.

In your browser, Authenticator creates two-factor authentication codes.

In your browser, Authenticator creates two-factor authentication (2FA) codes. Utilize it to protect your online accounts with an additional degree of protection.

Maintain a backup of your credentials in a secured place at all times.
It is highly suggested that you encrypt your credentials, particularly if you are connected andto a Google account.

Features:

  • Accounts may be added by scanning QR codes.
  • Using the “/” key, search for your accounts.
  • More than 10 languages have been translated
  • Use a password to encrypt your secrets.
  • Store your confidential information in a file, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, or Dropbox.

How To Make Google Authenticator Work For You

Two-factor authentication (2FA) should be enabled whenever possible, however there is a more secure method than having texts delivered to your phone.

An option is to use an authenticator app, one of the most prominent of which is provided by Google. Undoubtedly, it’s named Google Authenticator.

The program, which is compatible with both iOS and Android devices, scans QR codes on connected websites to generate two-factor authentication codes that act as an additional layer of safety when you log in.

Each site is unique, however those that integrate Google Authenticator (or other programs such as Authy) will have a QR code scanning option when configuring 2FA. Then, you’ll open Google Authenticator, click the Add button, and scan the QR code to add the account.

Installing and Using Google Authenticator

Take notice of the following procedures if you want to utilize Google Authenticator as a type of two-factor authentication.

Install the Google Authenticator application.

Google Authenticator is accessible on both the iOS App Store and Google Play. Because it is completely free to download and use, there is no need for a membership cost. I suggest downloading the software in your phone rather than a laptop, because you’ll need to keep the device with you at all times when a code is necessary.

Spot the Two-Factor Authentication Configuration

Many online accounts provide a feature for two-factor authentication in their security settings (2FA). While the majority of major social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), email providers, and investment accounts all support two-factor authentication, not all do. In this case, you’ll view the settings for two-factor authentication from inside Facebook.

Scan the QR Code or directly enter the code
When you enable two-factor authentication with Google Authenticator, the account security settings will showcase either a QR code or a 32-digit code (or both).

Select “Scan barcode” from the “+” button in the top right hand corner of the Google Authenticator app. If you just have one device, you may manually configure your two-factor authentication codes using the code.

Confirm the two-factor authentication code

After scanning the QR code or entering the 32-digit code, the new account will appear on the Google Authenticator app’s main screen. Click “Next” or “Continue” in the settings menu where you’re trying to set up 2-factor authentication. You’ll often be prompted to check the code has been set up successfully.

Sign In Using the 6-digit Google Authenticator code

At this stage, your two-factor authentication should be established and the app should be correctly configured. Based on your configuration, you may be asked to input this 6-digit code each time you log in, each time you set up a new device, or even only once per specified number of days/weeks.

Expert Guidelines for Using Two-Factor Authentication Apps

While the program itself is rather easy, there are a few pro tips I’ve picked up over the last couple of years of using it.

App Security: The Google Authenticator app is password-free and does not need biometric information (Face ID, Fingerprint, etc.) to access. This indicates that the app’s security is contingent upon your phone’s security. Ascertain that you have a minimum of a 6-digit code to activate your phone.

Why Backup Codes Are Critical: Scanning the QR code is by far the simplest method of configuring Google Authenticator. Nevertheless, it is critical that you save the manual code in a secured location in case your phone is lost or stolen. These backup codes might potentially save you a lot of time and aggravation in the future!

Utilize Multiple 2FA Methods: For the majority of online accounts, you are not limited to a single kind of two-factor authentication. For instance, you could configure Facebook to use both Google Authenticator and a 2FA security key. Both of these methods may be used to authenticate your account and serve as a backup for the other.

Touch to Copy the Code: Generally, six digits is not difficult to memorize, but this is not always the case. If you login into an account using your phone and the authenticator app requests a code, just tap the relevant code and it will be saved to your clipboard. You are no longer required to recall it!

How to regain access to your Google authenticator

Configure Two-Step Verification

Recover a 2-Step Verification-protected account

Following that, avert account lockouts when Two-Step Verification is implemented.

If your firm has implemented 2-Step Verification, administrators or users will be unable to login to their accounts if they ’ve lost rights to their authentication method or have not set up 2-Step Verification.

For instance:
  • A user or administrator loses their security key.
  • A user’s phone is lost or stolen and they are unable to produce 2-Step Verification codes.
  • A user does not enroll in two-factor authentication during the new user registration period.
  • A newly established user is unable to connect in to their account to enable two-factor authentication.

Reclaim your account


Administrators should have a backup security key—Administrators should enroll several security keys for their admin account and keep them in a secure location.

Develop and print backup codes in advance—Administrators and users should create and print backup codes in case they are required in the long term. Also maintain a safe place for backup codes.

Produce codes for a user—If a user who has been locked out does not have backup codes, you may create it for them. Refer to the guidelines on this page under User account.

Create a backup administrator—In the event that one administrator is unable to login in to their administrator account, another administrator may produce backup codes for them.

• If security keys are necessary, specify a time limit enforcing 2SV, provide a time limit for suspending the 2-step verification policy. During time frame, users may input a backup code for 2SV.

Utilize backup codes to facilitate account recovery

If you really need to restore an account, you may do so by using backup codes. 2SV continues to safeguard accounts, and backup codes are simple to produce. If you shift users into exception groups where 2SV is not needed, their accounts may not be secured by 2SV.

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