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by John W. Simek, Vice President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

Google Authenticator Update Allows Moving Between Devices

May 13, 2020

Authenticator apps are far and away more secure than getting a code via SMS text message. Users have been reluctant to migrate to using an authenticator app because transferring the registrations to a new phone may be difficult. In fact, you may have to trash the entire authentication app installation and reregister your new smartphone to every single service that uses MFA (multi-factor authentication). Bleeping Computer has some good news about the latest update to the Google Authenticator app.

Users register a service using 2FA (two-factor authentication) by scanning a QR code with the authentication app. Once the account is created, a token will be generated that is only valid for a short period of time. Some authentication apps like Microsoft Authenticator or Authy allow for registration on multiple devices so that the 2FA codes are synchronized across all devices. The Google Authenticator App update now lets you import and export 2FA accounts between devices.

Google announced in a blog post, "Today is World Password Day, and we found it fitting to release an update that'll make it even easier for users to manage Google Authenticator 2-Step Verification (2SV) codes across multiple devices. We are introducing one of the most anticipated features – allowing users to transfer their 2SV secrets, the data used to generate 2SV codes across devices that have Google Authenticator installed. For instance, when upgrading from an old phone to a new phone. This feature has started rolling out and is available in the latest version (5.10) of Google Authenticator on Android."

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