How to use Google Authenticator or Authy to keep your accounts secure

authy authenticator

The story of his affinity for tech takes us back to a time long ago. When Haroun was younger, he wanted to be a doctor — he still wants to be one — but the tech bug also bit him. He started following the industry for his pleasure around 2014 before eventually taking up a writing role with Android Police.

While several authentication apps work well, we focus on using Authy here. Unlike Google Authenticator and similar apps, Authy backs up your 2FA codes to the cloud , which means your codes aren’t lost forever if your phone breaks. Google Authenticator and Authy are examples of free 2FA apps that protect your accounts from unwanted access. Both provide one-time verification codes, but they work differently. Google Authenticator only stores codes on one device, so if you want to set it up on another, you’ll have to transfer your codes over manually.


We strongly recommend disabling multi-device if you’ve enabled it. You should also review the devices connected to your account by tapping Devices in the Authy app and making sure no unknown devices are listed under Other Connected Devices. We’ll keep an eye on any additional issues in the future. With two-factor authentication enabled on an online account, you log in as usual with your username and password. This code may come in a text message, in an email, as a software token retrieved from a two-factor authentication app, or as a hardware token from a physical device . Text-message verification is not recommended—unless it’s the only option, as it’s still better than nothing—due to the ease of SIM swapping .

Is Authy Authenticator safe?

Authy is one of the most trusted 2FA apps out there, and it's one of our recommendations among a pool of great 2FA apps. Unfortunately, any service that relies on a server-based infrastructure can be hacked if the attacker is just sophisticated enough, and this is exactly what happened to Authy's parent company Twilio.

Google Authenticator and Authy are both reliable authenticator apps. People looking for a simple and easy-to-use app should get Google Authenticator. The same goes for users who want a higher security level in the two-factor authentication process. However, bear in mind that anyone who can crack the phone can access the app and all information. On the other hand, Authy secures the authentication codes better by providing the option to PIN-protect the app.

Choosing between Authy and Google Authenticator

According to Microsoft’s FAQ, users must verify their locations “once an hour” to retain access. The Number Matching feature in the app requires users to enter a number sent to them before they can log into applications. As a result of this feature, there is less possibility of accidental approvals. In addition, if Authy deems your account at a higher risk, they activate some limitations. For instance, you may be unable to use SMS or voice when installing a Instead, you are prompted to log in to an already-registered Authy app or recover your account.

  • You can also use Authy to receive push notifications for OTPs.
  • It’s run by Twilio, a reputable company that clearly outlines its security practices and updates Authy frequently.
  • But things can quickly become messy if you lose the hardware.
  • I couldn’t find any completely working solutions, however I stumbled upon a gist by Brian Hartvigsen.

Think of it like losing the keys to your house without a copy—it’s a similar result. 2FA apps are the ideal middle ground to secure your online profiles. They protect your accounts from unwanted access by using single-use codes generated every minute to verify your identity. Apart from sending the OTP to your device, Authy also utilizes soft tokens or time-based one-time passwords , which can be generated even when your device is not connected to the data network. In addition, the Authy authenticator app also supports tighter security measures with its push authentication solution that adds advanced protection capabilities to your account.

Don’t take chances; safeguard your accounts now

To retrieve your account credentials from your cloud account, you must first verify that the account you want to recover doesn’t already exist in Authenticator. It is also no hassle to add new accounts, find existing ones, and delete unneeded ones. Once you meet these criteria, you can sync and back up the data from all your supported devices and browsers to the recovery account. Choose Work or School Account, accept the app permissions, and scan the QR code on your computer. Click the three dots at the top right of your mobile device screen, and head to Settings.

Still, Authenticator is trusted by millions of users worldwide. Once you’ve set up SMS verification, click Set up underneath the Authenticator app to get your code. Coursera offers a variety of training options for the growing data professional.

That’s not to say that hardware 2FA is better overall, though. It’s also much easier to lose a USB key on your keychain than it is to lose your phone, and most phones offer remote device wipe anyway. The earliest forms of 2FA used hardware keys instead of software, and NEAR there are still hardware keys available today. Instead of using TOTP, most devices use the Universal Second Factor .

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It also means that if you forget your password, there’s no recovery method. Did you lose your device and get locked out of all of your accounts? Authy provides secure cloud encrypted backups so you will never lose access to your tokens again. We use the same algorithm that banks and the NSA use to protect their information. Authy gives you the option to securely back up your data, just in case you lose your phone.

Enable 2FA for your favorite sites.

Most people don’t use Salesforce, but if you do, its two-factor authentication app provides the more secure passwordless login for Salesforce as well as TOTP codes for everything else. We like that the company makes its security measures clear . The app isn’t as useful if you don’t use the Salesforce platform, but if you do, it’s worth using for the rest of your tokens too. If you lose your phone and do not have multi-device or backups enabled, Authy has a support line to help you gain access to your account again. In this process, you type in your phone number and then Authy sends a verification email, which you can verify by clicking a link. Over the course of 24 hours, Authy shares the status of this process through several channels, alerting you so that if you did not initiate the reset you can stop it from happening.

It’s the most important thing you can do—alongside two-factor authentication—to keep your data safe. Everyone should use a password manager, and after researching dozens and testing six, we recommend 1Password because it’s secure and easy to use. If you don’t have access to an authorized browser or device, ask someone to recover your account.

If you are not sure, scan this code with your authenticator to test. The code should have 7 digits and should change every 10 seconds. Now more than ever, that sentence rings true as we use social media and other online services more than ever before. Sadly, where there’s data, there are people trying to exploit it, which is why data breaches and hacks are becoming more common.

  • Coursera offers a variety of training options for the growing data professional.
  • Authy does just about everything right, so it takes an easy first place and is our pick for the best 2FA app overall.
  • In short, Authy is the best two-factor authentication app.
  • Instead of using TOTP, most devices use the Universal Second Factor .
  • This means you get continued support for the new mobile operating system, tech support, alerts when security is breached, and, of course, the app’s reliability.

Choose between a quick phone call or a text message—either is fine. Once you’ve received your code, type it in, and you’ve created your Authy account. Various other cryptocurrency exchanges have implemented support for this tool over the years. It is not necessarily good to see all companies flock to the same security solution, though.

authy authenticator

As one of the leading authentication apps, it has gained wider adoption by many websites and applications. Otherwise, if you backed up the codes, you can restore them and get right into using the app again. Google Authenticator helped create the standard of two-factor authentication, but it has lagged behind other authenticators in basic ways. The app doesn’t use icons, which makes finding codes quickly more difficult, especially if you have dozens of accounts.

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