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How to Use Google Authenticator

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The best way for us to ensure our online security is using 2FA (2 Factor Authentication). Google Authenticator is a free app which creates the tokens needed to use 2FA. In fact, it is very simple to set up and use, once you get your head around it! Curious about other tools that can help you get more organized? Grab a copy of Steve’s toolkit! http://bit.ly/2JWqrBM Love what you saw? Subscribe to the channel for weekly Google tips (live every Monday!) Want to dive into the world of productivity, digital marketing and content creation? Join us for our weekly webinar this Wednesday! Every week, we break big, complex processes like building your email list and growing a successful YouTube channel into small, actionable steps you can put into practice straight away. Sign up: https://dottotech.com/webinars/ For issues with any Google App visit the Google Help Forum https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!home Support Dotto Tech on Patreon http://patreon.com/dottotech If you are looking for the perfect Speaker for your event, consider booking Steve! ihttps://dottotech.com/speaker/ For more info on Steve's Toolkit, (everyone wants to know what tools Steve uses) http://bit.ly/2JWqrBM Here are all of Steve's Recommended Tools on Amazon…..these are affiliate links https://www.amazon.com/shop/dottotech?ref=ac_inf_hm_vp Check out Steve’s Vlog https://dottotech.com/vlog/ FOLLOW DOTTO TECH ON SOCIAL → Blog: https://dottotech.com/ → Twitter: https://twitter.com/dottotech → Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DottoTech/ #AskDottoTech
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Text Comments (56)
Alan Brito (17 days ago)
Hello, but how do I add an account if I dont have a qr code?
Nigel Crisp (18 days ago)
I have one Google account that of course my Android mobile uses to send and receive emails, but I also use an email client, say Mozilla Thunderbird on my home desktop to also send and receive emails, via the POP & SMTP TLS/SSL servers on Gmail. Sorry, but I need more practical advice on what happens every time my mobile connects to check for email. Is the 2FA App used on each occasion ?
Michael Hord (20 days ago)
thanks for nothing now im locked out of my account. Good thing I practiced on an account I dont use.
Michael Hord (20 days ago)
You need to show us your keyboard and whats on your screen. You need to show us the whole process as though we were sitting next to you.
Saverio Parapugna (27 days ago)
Hi Steve, thank you for making me aware of this tool. I now use it one three products. I have a question about getting non-biased information. Will you address different websites that are search engines, like, DuckDuckgo.com, StartPage.com, searX.me. I listened to a Corbett report about how Google gives you answers they think you should know, not what you are looking for. Would this be too controversial?? Keep storming the Castle.
dottotech (25 days ago)
I like that topic, thanks for suggesting!
A b (1 month ago)
Maybe this was answered already but i have 2 big problems with google authenticator. Do you have a solution? ( i did not see it in your video) #1- How to use it to actually sign in to your websites once it is on your phone #2- which apps do you frequently use it on #3!!!- This is the BIG QUESTION- If i lose my Phone its SCARY!. Yes there are back up codes...but good luck w that! And good luck wasting lots of time! Is there a simple way to put google authenticator on all my devices?
Thank you for this video!, It so twisted, they brainwash us with security and they let the bad guys in through the back door #SMH. Also, Steve, could you stay on the lookout for the goo.gl URL shortener replacement ? They will close the console on March 30, 2019.. They will use something called Firebase Dynamic Links. Thanks!
Håkan Näslund (1 month ago)
PLZ HELP hi Steve i just made google authentication and i cant login to gmail on my android it says "gmail authentication failed" or something like that so i remove google authentication so i can read the mail on my cell, do you have a tutorial on this problem or can you tell me how to do because i want 2 step authentication... regards Hakan
HEY.com (1 month ago)
So glad you're talking about this. Yes Google Authenticator is awesome. Instagram should support it, too. - Dane
Steven Cottingham (1 month ago)
Thanks Steve, You added FB to your Authentication App BUT you didn't remove your phone number authentication for the FB list. I thought that was the purpose? did I moss something?
Alec Melling (1 month ago)
Very useful video. I have used two factor authentication for some time and I think what a lot of people might find useful is a video on transferring your TF Authentication to a new phone. I use the Google app and have ended up, almost by accident, with a Microsoft app and a Last Pass one as well. After two years with my present phone I am now thinking of a new one, and realise that the most worrying part of the whole process is going to be transferring the TF Authentication to the new phone. A video on the least painful way to do this would be very helpful.
Richard Fellows (1 month ago)
Steve - excellent advice and video. I removed my phone from FB, added Google Authenticator and again deactivated the account. FB is bordering on evil personified.
millymaie (1 month ago)
Please is there anyway you could do this video again at a more basic level I have iPhone X latest software I downloaded authentication app from App Store I cannot figure out how to use with Facebook thank you love your videos
Roger Massicotte (1 month ago)
Great video, as always. I used to have the Google app, now I use an authenticator app called "authenticator plus". It back up the synchronization information on the cloud (either your G Drive, Dropbox, etc). You can have the authenticator on several devices and they are all in sync. It makes life easier when you change your device.
Guys, can you explain me please: why this authenticator better than authorization by phone without this app? It looks similar but I feel what here must be a difference.
dottotech (1 month ago)
You can autorise if you have phone service or not, and they do not have your phone #
Hi Steve, what if you want 2FA on a computer? Any resources available? I don't download apps on my phone. Thanks.
Gary Stockton (1 month ago)
Hi Steve, I'm a little confused by this one. I tried to setup 2FA with Dropbox, but it doesn't appear to support Google Authenticator, or perhaps I am not doing it right. The other thing I couldn’t figure out was how to add it to my iPad. If I lose my phone I’d like to be able to have authenticator on my iPad but there’s no way to login once I install authenticator on the iPad.
Gary Stockton (1 month ago)
dottotech thank you I got it working and am migrating all 2FA over to apps instead of cell number.
dottotech (1 month ago)
SHould work fine, https://www.dropbox.com/help/security/enable-two-step-verification
Idler's Dream (1 month ago)
Good video & advice Steve, for people not even trusting Google, there's a free Open Source iOS app called 'Authenticator' https://mattrubin.me/authenticator/
Lucy Susanti (1 month ago)
Hi Steve, thanks for the video. Google Authenticator is good but Authy is better. Encrypted backups and using it across devices makes it a lifesaver. I have it running on computer, ipad and phone so if I lose one I can just log in to another and keep going, plus starting over is easy. For added security I use Bitwarden as a password manager. Even if that is broken into, I the added layer of protection from Authy to prevent unauthorised access, so I can relax a bit more. When I am relaxed, my clients are too. :)
Janelee Keller (1 month ago)
Good Morning Steve 🌄 :-) Thank you for this, (If I got it correctly), update for 2FA ? I think it is a Terrible thing about FB using back up phone numbers for Any reason !....I purposely never give my phone number to Anyone.....If a number is asked for, we (my Husband and I), give our Landline number, which we don't answer ! I must add, I may be confused about the Landline number thing, having anything to do with 2FA, but just wanted to mention it. I never had FB. Only Twitter that my Daughter apparently loaded on my 6 year old iPad back when I knew zero about Technology....At least I Think it was She ?...If not, I have no idea how it got there !.....As far as I know, Google, and I guess Apple, (the iPad has no phone, although I have 20+ Google apps loaded on it - including DUO, which does have my phone number), are the only places that have my number. You know, the more I type, the more confused I'm getting myself !....I better quit while I have some hope of being ahead ! LOL 🤭. Will try to implement this on my phone !....Would very much appreciate a silent moment of prayer for me ❗ Have a Splendid Thursday 😊. Sincerely, JaneLee ^_^ 10/4/18 5:45 AM
Gigi Embrechts (1 month ago)
Thanks for this video. I only use WiFi most of the time so Google A still effective that way? As far as Facebook goes, I would love to stop using them ! However, I built my following there and can not seem to get them to move from this horrible additive habit. I started a community and the users say they love not having the distractions but still go back to Facebook. Why do we let this platform control us? Worry’s me about other places we let people herd us like cattle.
dottotech (1 month ago)
Yes it is fine with Wifi or no connection at all (on the phone side)
Dennis Diede (1 month ago)
When new apps come out I always question their trustworthyness. Especially when the control sensitive data. Usually I stay with only the basic apps. Is there a org that vouches for these new apps??????
Charles Cheeks (1 month ago)
First off, thanks so much for the excellent and informative videos. In regards to swapping phones, is there a good way to transfer the accounts from one device to another that is using Authenticator or do you need to go in to each account and reset the 2FA with the new device? Thanks for the insight!
Pipe2DevNull (1 month ago)
2FA needs a better catchy name. Like 'wifi' is better than '802.11 Wireless'.
Out of the Cauldron (1 month ago)
Great video, how does this interact with password managers such as last pass? thanks!
Charles Celano (1 month ago)
Nice advice Steve. I am going to add that to FB right now. I have deactivated my FB account more times than I can count in the last few years. I get fed up with it...deactivate it....then give in and get back on to see what is happening with my family members who live on the other side of the country. It's like I am caught in a trap! But the fact that they have been selling our phone numbers only makes me angrier. It is no wonder I keep getting these SPAM phone calls all the time. That reminds me. How about a video from you on the best apps to sniff out and block spam calls on our phones. I know there are some out there but I am not sure if any are good. Thanks again Steve!
Rene B (1 month ago)
I switched to LastPass Authenticator because it has better features. Namely you can secure it with a Thumb print or pin. Also useful is you can make a backup and then install the app on your iPad and say restore and then you have all the codes on both so iPhone and iPad. Helpful if you have like me 20+ codes.
אמיר בצלאל (1 month ago)
The use of the computer becomes dependent on phone.
Johannes S. (1 month ago)
Tip: When the code changed in the app you can still send the old one for some sec. The providers usually calculated a "backup minute" because your phone time could be a little bit different from the server time, and this system is time-based.
Christian Himmer (1 month ago)
Steve.. I've got a question... I use Google authenticator but i never find the answer... what happens when you change your cell phone ??? do i need to do everything again??? and how ....
Lynda Washington (1 month ago)
Facebook just about demanded (its nagging amounted to demanding) I register my phone number "for my security." Then it absolutely drove me nuts telling me every time anyone I knew, knew of, or shared the planet with posted anything, no matter how trivial. Let's be honest: Facebook is all over trivial. So I removed my phone number, then tightened my privacy and security settings on Facebook. Oh--and I NEVER answer a phone call or text from a number I don't recognize. If you aren't in my personal contacts list, you're not getting through to me. And, as you say, everywhere you want to do business also demands your phone number. Why? Nobody answers phones any more. And yet, you can't place an order without leaving your number. Which is why nobody answers their phones any more. If everyone has your phone number, then no one has you phone number. However, I just don't see Google as a white hat in all this. What are they up to? You can bet your sit-upon they're getting something. What? From whom? Why? Call me cynical, but I'm not sold on the whole idea that Google does anything out of the goodness of its little corporate heart. You're a fan, and I understand that: everything Google does works better than anything other services do. That, in itself, is alarming.
enka3 (1 month ago)
Hi Steve, how do you rate google Authenticator against Microsoft authenticator?
D C (1 month ago)
Perfect timing Steve, I found out today I need to use this for work!
Danny Mc phee (1 month ago)
I agree Steve, 2FA is great. Ya gotta be fast, they allow 30 seconds to enter code. whew!!!
olvi007 (1 month ago)
How about when changing to a new phone? Is it going to be a big job to get it working again? Can I even log in anymore? I'm talking about Android because it does not backup apps like iPhone does.
Guy Borowski (1 month ago)
If you try to add a new device after initial set up on other devices, I do not believe you get a sync and have to start again with all devices. That is why I think that Authy is a much better better app. Gives you the 2FA and allows you to add devices without starting again. That said, the more devices you have set up, the lower the level of security
Bobby Phoenix (1 month ago)
If you add, or change phones, you can simply view the current QR code, and just add it to the new device. 99% of sites that use this type allows it. Once in a while you'll come across one that doesn't, and in that case you have to use the "lost or don't have access to device", and you can either use backup codes you can generate when setting it up, or you get an email confirming to turn it off. Then you can set it up again.
Sam Finance Tech (1 month ago)
Good info....
Jack Staten (1 month ago)
Steve, is this different from two factor authentication I already have with my Yahoo and Google ect accounts. Or is this one better.
NedKelly1957 (1 month ago)
Great vid as usual. Doesn't seem like Authenticator works with LinkedIn. Did I miss something?
Hisham Ghamri (1 month ago)
My favorite authentication app is Authy. You might want to consider making a review on it.
James Wright (1 month ago)
I wonder if it's not time for Facebook to close down.
The FB use of phone numbers is the reason I DO NOT give my phone number out as a verifying factor to any app or web-page. I use another email address. When you give them a phone number, and you have your GPS turned on, they can locate you and spam you with ads etc. I don't want/need them telling me where I should be buying things. AS a senior with no kids as an example, I don't need pampers after walking by a store that sells baby stuff. If I walk by a restaurant, it doesn't mean I want to eat there. It's an invasion of my privacy, and an insult to my intelligence. Also, the "DO NOT DISTURB" function on my phone is the best thing going... no more unsolicited/unwanted phone calls at any time of the day or night. Maybe another topic for your vlog Steve. 😎
Julie Esquivelzeta (1 month ago)
Thank you for the video. Very useful. I will try it. As for Sharing our phone number, I agree that is not to loyal to us as users of FB. I don’t know if there is a policy that allows that when we say “agree to the terms and conditions “ . By the way, do you have a video about Google Drive file stream? you can downloaded to the computer and sync your files? Can you talk about it in detail? Thank you.
gowtham (1 month ago)
Please create a video about best way to encrypt personal files. It would be awesome if you explain veracrypt
John Taylor (1 month ago)
Steve - great video not only for newbies but a great reminder and for those of us still using the infinitely crackable SMS approach. Worth noting is at LastPass has a very similar, almost indistinguishable except for color scheme, authenticator too, which is a separate app.
Jimilagro Vermont (1 month ago)
Great video. I despise Facebook and am going to let it die out of my life. It’s too much of a pain in the ass to actually delete it but I have stopped using it. Unfortunately I do use Instagram for my photography hobby so maybe I’m screwed anyway. Over time, I will be changing my passwords using LastPass and will add google authenticator. It’s all a pain in the ass. It’s what happens when money is god. Ethics go out the window. Anyway, I enjoy your videos. I really really miss your vlog though. So I downloaded the app but how do I set it up. There are no instructions. When I begin setup it wants me to choose barcode or manual. When I choose barcode I just get my camera. No barcode. Where is the barcode? Can you show how to set up the app?.
Megan Charles (1 month ago)
What about when you upgrade your phone or devices later? As for FB using our numbers, one more nail in the coffin of certain social media accounts. Whether they be automated or generated from a pool of purchased numbers, I hate telemarketers and computers calling me all hours of the day. Gone are the days of trusted caller ID and call blocking like it was in the 90s-early 2000's. Now I have to tell people if you call me to leave me a message, otherwise, I'm never going to call back/answer if I don't recognize your number.
Steve Lowry (1 month ago)
Good subject. Would like a bit more step by step (how to) stuff on this one. Facebook is a wake up call. Getting others personal data (legally or illegally ) is the gold rush of our time. There is a crazy amount of money in this mine. Thanks for being there. Sofia, Bulgaria.
dottotech (1 month ago)
https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-move-google-authenticator-to-a-new-device/
Lucas Van Enger (1 month ago)
I use it daily and love it. It also has a companion app for Wear OS. All I have to do is call it up on my watch and I get the rotating code.

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