Over the last few weeks, Twitter has been flooded with experiences of users in India locked out of their accounts due to an issue with two-factor authentication (2FA). Users that have text messages selected as their 2FA option have not been receiving any SMS. Many users report on Twitter that several network operators from countries such as India have been removed from Twitter's two factor operations without any notice. “It means that people who have their 2FA on, cannot log in because they would never get an OTP via SMS,” one user tweeted in a thread earlier this month.
While some users have managed to gain access to their accounts, you can avoid this issue with setting up an authentication app as your choice for 2FA on Twitter. In fact, we are moving, digitally, towards a future with fewer passwords. This makes the use of authentication apps all the more relevant, given how almost all of us have multiple personal and professional accounts to handle. Here’s a look at five top, free authenticator apps you can use in general to access your different accounts securely.
2FAS: Like any other app, 2FAS generates a time-based OTP for users, in addition to a regular password. This authenticator app is supported by a remote backup service function that allows you to store service keys in a secure, cloud-based backup. This feature lets you recover them if you lose your device and also allows you to generate codes on different devices. The 2FAS app can be used on Android, iOS and as a web extension as well.
Google Authenticator: One of the earliest authenticator apps, Google Authenticator will work on all Android devices running on Android 4.4 and beyond. The app works easily through an automatic setup via QR codes and you can use it for multiple accounts. You can even transfer your old passcodes to a new device without too much hassle. Bonus: you can use this Google app for 2FA on iOS devices as well.
LastPass Authenticator: Regular users of the LastPass password manager will know of this app. The LastPass Authenticator is a simple app that offers easy 2FA with features such as one-tap verification and a secure cloud backup. This authenticator app is all the more easy to set up if you already have a LastPass account. Available on both iOS and Android.
Microsoft Authenticator: Another popular app in this segment you can use the Microsoft Authenticator app in multiple ways. The first is the standard 2FA method, where one of the factors is your password. After you sign in using your username and password, you can either approve a notification or enter a provided verification code. You can even use it as a code generator for any other accounts that support authenticator apps. This app also works on both Android and iOS.
DUO Mobile: Built more of corporate setups, the DUO Mobile app works as both a two-factor authentication and multi-factor authentication or MFA solution. The app has a very user-friendly interface and one of the smoothest push notification systems. DUO Mobile can also generate time-based one-time passcodes that users can punch into their login prompt to complete the two-factor authentication process. This app works with iOS and Google’s Android operating system as well.