Using Google Authenticator for Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is a great security feature that we recommend for all our customers. Google Authenticator is the premiere app that many people use for their two-factor authentication needs. This is the app we recommend too.
What Is Two-factor Authentication?
With the latest news about the recent Binance hack, it is a good time to make a security audit. You should evaluate your current security and make plans to ensure you are as safe as possible.
One of the things you can do is to make sure you are using two-factor authentication. For your bank and an exchange where they have access to your funds, you definitely should use this on your account.
Let me explain how this works briefly.
A normal system means that if someone has your username and your password, they have full access to your account. If the password you use is the same for other accounts, they have access to those too!
Two-factor authentication on your account means you need two separate things to access your account. You need something you know and something you have. The something you know is the normal way, you need to know your username and password.
The something you have is a device, like your phone, which will provide you with the second point of access. This is usually by SMS message or a generated code via an app like Google Authenticator.
A hacker would have to have your password AND your phone and know how to use them to access your account. The chances of this happening are staggeringly low. It’s much lower than the chances of them being able to get your password.
It’s like the scene in the movies where they need to launch the nukes. The is always two people who need to insert their keys to start it up. The security is so high because someone needs to compromise both of them which is so unlikely and hard to do.
How to Use Google Authenticator
Here is how to use the Google Authenticator App for your two-factor authentication needs.
1. Download the Google Authenticator app onto your phone. You can get it from either the App Store for iOS or the Google Play Store for Android.
2. Enable two-factor authentication on your service, like iCE3X. This will give you a QR Code.
3. Scan this using your phone camera in the app which will add the service and produce your code.
4. That’s it. Enjoy the extra protection.
Now when you need to log in, enter your password as normal. The platform will then ask for a two-factor authentication code which the app will provide for you. The code will periodically change but you just need to enter the code you are given when you try to log in. If the codes are red, this means they are about to change
What Happens If You Lose Your Phone With Google Authenticator?
This is a problem if you lose your phone which had the authenticator app especially if you did not have a full back up of your phone before you replace it. If this is the case then when you open up the google authenticator app on a new phone, you will not have your passwords available.
You will need to go to each of your services with two-factor authentication to be able to get the QR code to add them back to the Google Authenticator app. The process for them to validate your identity and give you access again will vary from service to service though.
At iCE3X, we prioritise your security as we are talking about your funds here. If you lose your phone and access to your authenticator app, follow the instructions in the following Youtube Video and our support team will help you with the rest of the process to make sure it is really you. Once your identity has been verified, we can get you back into your account so that you can get your QR code for the Google Authenticator app again.
Backing up your QR Codes and keeping them safe
The process of validation to get into your accounts again is a long and inconvenient process but is necessary to keep you safe. An alternative is that you can keep a copy of your original QR codes as a back up so you can use it again. You can use the snipping tool on Windows or use “CMD+Shift+3” on MacOS to take a screenshot of the code you want to save. Be sure to save these images in an encrypted location, in a passworded zip file would be best.
Two-factor authentication is a great tool to increase the security of your online accounts. It is easy to use the Google Authenticator app to generate the codes you need to access your 2FA enabled account. When dealing with something as important as your cryptocurrency funds, you should be making an effort to ensure your accounts are secure as possible. Are all of your accounts as safe? Do you have some services without 2FA which you should worry about? Do a security audit as soon as possible.