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Google Authenticator's new update makes account access easier

Google's new update to the Authenticator app enables users to sync their two-factor passcodes to a new device

The new update supports synchronization with Google accounts.
The new update supports synchronization with Google accounts. (Reuters)

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Google has updated its Authenticator app, across both iOS and Android, to enable users to safely back up one-time codes or one-time passwords (OTPs) to their Google Accounts.

Signing in to Google is like opening the door to all your online personal information and hence, it is a huge risk factor which needs protection. Although signing into Google and all its apps should be simple, security with built-in authentication tools such as Google Password Manager and automatic protections like alerts when your account is being accessed from a new device makes users feel secure, Google’s Christiaan Brand wrote in a blog post.

Also read: Have you tried these 5 authenticator apps?

Google Authenticator was launched in 2010 as a free and easy way for sites to add two-factor authentication (2FA) that increases user security when signing in. Although the world might be moving towards a passwordless future, authentication codes remain an important part of internet security today. 

One of the issues that people have faced over the years is the complex process of dealing with lost or stolen devices that had Google Authenticator. As the OTPs were only stored on a single device, if the device was lost then users lost their ability to sign in to any device on which they had set up 2FA using the Authenticator app. This new update brings a solution to the problem. 

With the new update, the one-time codes can be stored safely in users’ Google Accounts. This assures better protection and easier access. Now, you can log in from a secondary device or easily use your account on a new one. “This change means users are better protected from lockout and that services can rely on users retaining access, increasing both convenience and security,” Brand wrote in the post.

To try the new Authenticator with Google Account synchronization, update the app and follow the prompts.

The use of authentication apps is going to become all the more relevant in the near future, given how almost all of us have multiple personal and professional accounts to handle. You can also take a look at five top, free authenticator apps you can use in general to access your different accounts securely.

Also read: Week in tech: Google Pixel Fold around the corner?

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