It is important that you have a two-step verification for every online profile you have. Some of us use it, others don’t. I insist on using two-step verification for every online profile as it adds extra layer of security. The most annoying part of this two-step verification is you need to wait for messages, then you need to type the six-digit One Time Passcode to log in. If the message delivery is late, there is a chance that session might expire and you can’t log in.
Google Authenticator is an app by Google which provides six-digit codes in Real-Time which acts as a One-time-Password. So you need not wait for the message or search for signal in remote areas. Google authenticator works even without internet. You can use Google Authenticator codes instead of OTP messages.
Google authenticator requires a special encrypted key provided by websites which can be obtained at security settings of the website. You need to enable two-factor authentication, then you will see a QR Code which contains the encrypted key. Scan with the Google Authenticator app then a six-digit code appears on the app. You need to enter the six-digit code to verify activation of Google Authenticator.
Then you will be notified to save 6 or 8 backup codes according to the website for the future purpose in case you lost access to your Phone. I recommend saving the codes in a securely accessible location.
The Main drawback of the Google Authenticator is that the codes will not back up to a cloud server for security reasons. If you lost the phone you can’t have access to the Time-based One-Time-Passcode.
If you want to change your phone it ’s almost impossible to share the encrypted code from your old phone to the new phone. You need to change it manually by logging in and turn off the two-factor authentication and turn it back on by scanning with your new phone.
To overcome losing of encrypted key data from Google Authenticator, an app called Authy. It upload’s the encrypted key to its servers and restores when you sign in with a phone number or email id from another phone. You can choose the default devices from the devices list.
How to gain access to social profiles if you lost your phone with two-factor-authentication enable?