Google Authenticator is a widely used two-factor authentication (2FA) app that has been around for many years. It provides an extra layer of security for your online accounts by requiring a code generated by the app in addition to your password. This makes it much more difficult for hackers to gain access to your accounts even if they manage to steal your password. Recently, Google has introduced a new feature that allows Google Authenticator to sync with your Google account, making it easier to set up and use.
Before this new feature was introduced, users had to manually set up Google Authenticator for each account they wanted to secure. This involved scanning a QR code or entering a secret key provided by the service, which would then generate a unique code that had to be entered in addition to your password. This was a somewhat cumbersome process, especially if you had a lot of accounts that required 2FA.
New Google Authenticator Sync Feature
All of your 2FA codes can be stored in your Google account, making it much easier to manage them. To set this up, simply go to your Google account settings, select the Security tab, and then click on the “2-Step Verification” option. From there, you can choose to use either Google Authenticator or Google Prompt to verify your identity.
If you choose Google Authenticator, you can then select the option to “Set up using a QR code”. This will generate a QR code that you can scan with the Google Authenticator app on your mobile device. Once scanned, the app will automatically add the 2FA code for that account to your Google account. This means that you no longer have to manually enter the secret key or scan the QR code for each account.
Simply manage your 2FA codes across multiple devices
Previously, if you lost your mobile device or had to replace it, you would have to manually set up Google Authenticator again for each account. With the new sync feature, all of your 2FA codes are stored in your Google account, so you can simply install Google Authenticator on your new device and all of your codes will be there waiting for you.
Another benefit of this new feature is that it makes it easier to use 2FA for accounts that don’t support Google Authenticator natively. For example, if you have a banking app that requires 2FA but doesn’t support Google Authenticator, you can still use Google Authenticator to generate the code and then enter it into the banking app manually.
An additional layer of security for your Google account
Since all of your 2FA codes are stored in your Google account, this means that you can use them to verify your identity if you ever lose access to your primary authentication method (such as your password). This can be especially helpful if you are traveling and don’t have access to your primary authentication device, or if your device is lost or stolen.
The new Google Authenticator sync feature is also more secure than other 2FA apps that store your 2FA codes on your mobile device. If your mobile device is compromised, an attacker could potentially gain access to your 2FA codes and use them to gain access to your accounts. With the Google Authenticator sync feature, your 2FA codes are encrypted and stored securely in your Google account, so even if your mobile device is compromised, an attacker would not be able to access your codes without also having access to your Google account.
In addition to being more secure, the new Google Authenticator sync feature is also more convenient for users. It eliminates the need to juggle multiple 2FA apps or remember which accounts are secured with which apps. Instead, all of your 2FA codes are stored in one place, making it easier to manage and access them.
Downside of the new Google Authenticator sync feature
One potential is that it requires users to have a Google account. While many people already have a Google account, some may prefer not to use one for security reasons or personal preferences. However, for those who are comfortable using a Google account, the new sync feature is a great option for securing their online accounts.
Overall, the new Google Authenticator sync feature is a welcome addition that makes it easier and more secure to use 2FA. By storing all of your 2FA codes in your Google account, you can manage them more easily and use them to secure a wider range of online accounts. If you haven’t already set up 2FA for your online accounts, now is a great time to do so, and the new Google Authenticator sync feature makes it easier than ever to get started.