Google Authenticator

Google Authenticator: How to migrate your account to a new smartphone

Nowadays, double authentication has become a must, but if you are looking for an even higher level of security, the Google Authenticator application could help you.

Google Authenticator is surely one of the most famous applications to generate 2FA codes in order to ensure your identification when accessing your online services.

Although security researchers have highlighted some reliability issues, the Google Authenticator remains one of the most secure to date. It bids farewell to the insecure SMS verification system.

Google Authenticator

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This application, available on iOS and Android, will allow you to scan a QR code on partner sites to create 2FA codes that will provide a second level of protection when you log on.

Google Authenticator is not compatible with all sites, but you can use it, for example, with your Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft or Nintendo accounts. A multitude of other sites are also compatible.

Every site is different, so a website that is compatible with Google Authenticator (or similar applications such as Authy) has the option to scan a QR code when you want to generate a 2FA code.

After that you just have to open the Google Authenticator application, press the “+” button and finally scan the QR code to generate a code.

2FA

Once in the application you can modify your 2FA numeric codes, often 6 digits, which you can then use to connect to your accounts. It is no longer necessary to receive a code by SMS.

It is the sites you try to access that will verify the code generated by Google Authenticator.

The advantage of an application like Google’s is that all your codes are gathered in one place, so they are accessible at any time, even when your cell phone is offline.

This greatly reduces the risk of your SMS messages being hacked, which is not insignificant.

How to transfer your Google Authenticator account to a new phone

Until recently, changing phones meant having to start the whole process over again. However, since May 2020, a new function allows to transfer all the authentication codes from one Android phone to another and everything in a very simple way.

Please note that this new feature is not available on Apple phones, but not without the intervention of a third party computer.

To do this, you will need both your old and new phone, making sure that the Google Authenticator application is up to date on both phones.

On your old cell phone, press the menu button in the top right corner of the application and select “Transfer accounts” and then “Export accounts”, then just mark the accounts you want to transfer and select “Next”.

Your old phone will generate a QR code that will allow you to get your codes on your new phone. On your new phone, select “Import Account” and scan your QR code. That’s it, all your codes have been transferred simply and efficiently.

If an iPhone is involved in the process, then you will have to use a computer to perform this maneuver.

Go to your Google account page, go to “Security” in the left navigation bar, then press “Two-step validation”, scroll down to the Authentication application and select “Change devices”.

Choose the type of phone you want to transfer your account to, the site will generate a QR code that you can scan into your new phone.

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