Some time ago we posted the steps to enable Google’s 2-Step Verification for any of your Gmail accounts. This all-important setting provides a layer of protection to your account, and gives us peace of mind, know that if someone comes across our password, they cannot get into our account.

Similarly, installing other apps on our handsets, particularly those with access to sensitive material or online accounts, need to be protected. Take cryptocurrency apps like Coinbase, for instance. You’ll want more than one layer of protection between you and your holdings, right?

Thanks to Google’s Authenticator app, our lives become a little less troubled as we can have our phones generate security codes. Google Authenticator is used widely and trusted by many as one of the more secure ways to safeguard your accounts with a second layer of protection.

Here we’ll show you how simple it is to set up the Authenticator app on your mobile device and use it with your Google account.

Prerequisites

There are a few things that must happen before you can continue with this setup.

  1. You must have 2-Step Verification set up for your Google account. If you have not completed this yet please click the link and follow the tutorial.
  2. You must install the Google Authenticator app on your mobile device.

Setup

Now that you have completed the prerequisites lets jump right in and set up your device to be your mobile authenticator.

  1. From your favorite browser, open the Google account security page
  2. Click on “2-Step Verification”
  3. Under the Authenticator App section, click “Setup”
  4. Choose your device type (Android, iPhone) and click “Next” to reveal a QR code
  5. Open the Google Authenticator app on your device
  6. Tap on the symbol in the bottom right corner to add a new code
  7. Tap “Scan a QR code”
  8. Scan the QR code that is open in your browser

There you have it, you now have the added security of a 2-step login process with the ease of a code generator (Google Authenticator) on your mobile device.

A few things to remember

  1. You are only allowed to set up one device at a time under Google Authenticator. It is possible to export your settings from one phone to another.
  2. Never set this up on a publicly shared device
  3. Keep a strong password on your device if you set up this feature and do not share it. Security is only as good as the person keeping it.

Now that you have this setup, tell us what you think. How are you using this in your daily life? What other security measures do you take? Hit us up in the comments to share the knowledge.

Updated: August 24, 2021

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3 COMMENTS

  1. You do not need the ZXing bar code scanner, any of the other bas code scanners will work as well.

    If you wish to have Authenticator available on more than one device, consider Authenticator Plus instead of the Google version. If you ever misplace/lose/break your phone it’s very handy to have an authenticator app running on, for example, your tablet

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