Google Authenticator gains cloud backup of one-time codes
Google has released an important update for its Authenticator app. The latest versions of Google Authenticator for iOS and Android can now synchronize one-time codes to the cloud.
In offering Google Account synchronization, the 2FA tool is now easier to use across multiple devices. This is something Google points out as being useful in the case of a lost or stolen device.
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In a blog post about the new update, Google says: "We are excited to announce an update to Google Authenticator, across both iOS and Android, which adds the ability to safely backup your one-time codes (also known as one-time passwords or OTPs) to your Google Account".
Going on to explain the thinking behind introducing this new capability, the company says:
One major piece of feedback we've heard from users over the years was the complexity in dealing with lost or stolen devices that had Google Authenticator installed. Since one time codes in Authenticator were only stored on a single device, a loss of that device meant that users lost their ability to sign in to any service on which they'd set up 2FA using Authenticator.
With this update we're rolling out a solution to this problem, making one time codes more durable by storing them safely in users' Google Account. This change means users are better protected from lockout and that services can rely on users retaining access, increasing both convenience and security.
To gain access to cloud synchronization, simply make sure you have the very latest version of Google Authenticator installed.