Basically, Google Authenticator offers two-factor authentication which requires users to provide two different forms of identification. When you enable two-factor authentication, users must log in using their credentials as well as a random numeric code generated by the Google Authenticator app, which is available for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry
SMS-based two-factor authentication has a known security flaw, and any dedicated hacker can try to socially engineer an attack against your phone company. The Google Authenticator app prevents SMS-based attacks by using algorithms to generate codes on your phone.
Setting Up Google Authenticator on Your Device
- Download Google Authenticator on your device, it is available on iOS or Android Platform.
- Then, on your Google account, enable two-step verification. Sign in with your Google account. Select “Two-Step Verification” under “Security and Sign-In,” then scroll down to the “Authenticator app” option.
- Choose the device that you are using, either an Android or iPhone.
- Navigate to your installed Google Authenticator app and the plus button located in the upper right of the interface.
- At the bottom of your device screen, you’ll see two options: “Scan barcode” and “Manual entry.”
To finish the process, you only need to select one of these options. Using the “Scan barcode” option requires you to download a QR scanner from the app store and then point your phone at the QR code on your computer screen to verify Google Authenticator’s connection with your account.
On the other hand, “Manual Entry,” on the other hand, simply means that Google will send you a 16-digit code to an e-mail address. Upon entering the code, the verification process will be complete.
Turning on the time based option is a must so that the code is always in sync with Authenticator. Logging into an account associated with Authenticator will then require you a six-digit verification code which keeps on updating. This ensures maximum security on your account.