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

Today double authentication has become essential, however if you are looking for an even higher level of security, the Google Authenticator application could help you.

Image 1: Google Authenticator: how to migrate your account to a new smartphoneCredit: Google

Google Authenticator is surely one of the most famous applications to generate 2FA codes in order to secure its identification when accessing its online services. And despite the identification of certain reliability problems by security researchers, Google Authenticator remains one of the safest to date. It allows you to say goodbye to the unsecured SMS verification system.

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

amazon 2SV authentication application

Each site is different, however a website that is compatible with Google Authenticator (or with similar applications like Authy) has an 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.

Once in the application you will be able to modify your 2FA digital codes, often 6 digits, which you can then use to log into your accounts. No need to receive a code by SMS. These are the sites where you try to connect that will verify the code generated by Google Authenticator.

The advantage of an application like that of Google, is that all your codes are gathered in one and the same place, and that they are therefore accessible at any time, even when your mobile phone is disconnected. And that greatly reduces the risk of having your text messages hacked, which is not negligible.

How to transfer your Google Authenticator account to a new phone

Until recently, changing phones meant having to start the whole process over. However since May 2020, a new feature allows you to transfer all your authentication codes from one Android phone to another and all that very simply. Note however that this new feature is not yet available on Apple phones, however not without the intervention of a third-party computer.

To do this, you will need your old phone as well as the new one, while making sure that the Google Authenticator app is up to date on both laptops.

On your old mobile phone, press the menu button at the top right of the application and select “Transfer accounts” then “Export accounts”, then you just have to check the accounts you want to transfer and select ” Following “. Your old phone will then generate a QR code which will allow you to get your codes on your new phone. On the latter, select “Import an account” and scan your QR Code. And now, all your codes have been transferred in a simple and efficient way.

If an iPhone is involved in the process, then you will need to use a computer to perform this maneuver. Go to your page Google Account, then in “Security” in the navigation bar on the left, then press “Two-step validation”, scroll down to the Authenticator application and select “Change device”.

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

2-step google validation

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