Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security before your account is accessed. But what happens when you lose the phone through which you were going to approve or reject authentication?
Intentional Change of Phone
Ensure that you’ve switched your device details before dumping your existing phone. The following links will guide you on how to change your 2FA settings (best to access when logged in):-
- LastPass (open LastPass on the web, go to Settings and then choose’ Multifactor Options’)
The process is fairly simple: you’ll install an app on your phone, scan a QR code and or code generated by the website in question and finally confirm that you possess the new device.
In case of SMS confirmations, simply activate your new phone and the codes will be dispatched without hassle.
Save Backup Codes
It’s always handy to record backup codes. In case you ever get shut out from your account, backup codes help regain access easily.
It’s best to print or preserve copies of these backup codes but do not save them in a Word document because, well, if your laptop or computer gets stoken, you’re in tough luck!
Backup codes are static whereas authenticator-generated codes change randomly.
‘Authy’, the Recommended Authenticator
Authy is a wonderful app for managing 2FA accounts on Android, iOS and PCs. It not only gives you a ‘backup device’ but also migrates your tokens from one device to the other.
To setup synchronised tokens on your devices, install Authy as your primary 2FA app and follow these steps:-
- Go to Settings > Devices
- Enable ‘Allow multi-device‘
- Install Authy on your second device
- Enter the phone number of your primary device
- You’ll get a popup sayin ‘Get Account Verfication Via‘ > choose ‘Use Existing Device‘
- Switch back to the primary device and on the popup click ‘Accept‘
- Type ‘OK‘ in the prompt box for approval
- Return to Settings and click ‘Devices‘ again
- Disab;e the ‘Allow multi-device‘ option.
Enabling a PIN code is also recommended, just in case.
Replacement Phone for SMS-based Authentication
Maintaining a backup device will help you send text messages to the number attached with your account.
However, it is worth iterating that text-based authentication is less secure.
What do I do if I’m locked out?
Here are some links which can help you regain account access control in case you mess up real bad:-
As they say ‘precaution always helps‘. We hope this helped!