For many years, two-step authentications have been the commonest method of securing online accounts because it adds an additional security layer in the form of Time-based One-time Password (TOTP). Among the widely known applications for the two-factor authentication is from Google, the Google Authenticator PC.
Millions of people from all parts of the world use different Google accounts. What you did not know is that all of them are always searching for a better way to protect the accounts. There are no doubts that your personal accounts have crucial personal data that you would not want to share with any other person. What if someone hacked the accounts? That would result in a big uncomfortable condition. Even though Google has been ensuring the security of the users, they introduced Google Authenticator to enhance security. Google Authenticator is a perfect choice for smartphones and personal computers.
Google created the App to create one-time passwords for every account. Experts are recommending this app for individuals who would want to keep their accounts secure. With the 2-factor authentication, also known as 2F authentication, Google users can also use any other form of authentication for their emails to prevent loss of data or hacking. Here are a few steps that will help you use the Google Authenticator on your Windows, 7, 8 and 10. To benefit from the authenticator, you just need to follow the steps.
First, what is 2-factor authentication?
Two-factor authentication, commonly known as 2FA allows you to add second-factor security to the voice commands. That allows you to enhance the security for some actions like turning off the security camera or opening your doors. Google does not tie the 2-factor authentication to any device traits and you will, therefore, be able to decide when the Google assistant should issues challenges.
A quick example, you can opt to issue challenges for the ON/OFF traits for the home security camera but not to issue the challenge for the ON/OFF trait for the light. Google Assistant also allows issuing challenges in particular situations for similar actions. Another example, you can set the Google Assistant to issue challenge requests to open the door if the NFC keyfob is not present and not to issue it if it is present.
The Google Assistant issues two main types of challenges – personal identification number (PIN) or explicit acknowledgment. That includes challenge blocks to QUERY and EXECUTE intents that Google Assistant sends back to the action and accepts the ChallengeNeeded error response. Google Assistant will then send back the intention request to the action with challenge data within the challenge block. You will then validate the data to determine whether the user has provided the right security response. Google Assistant has been using dialogs to issue the challenges, but each time you use the Google Assistant on the non-voice surfaces, you will have to fill in the PIN and complete any other confirmation on-screen.
Using Google Authenticator without a smartphone
There are several third-party services that support 2-factor authentication services. Google released the Authenticator app for iOS and Android platforms, but with third-party services, you can run it on Windows and BlackBerry phones. Google implements the HMAC-based One-time Password Algorithm (HOTP) and the Time-Based Password Algorithm (TOTP) to generate 6-digit authentication codes for every linked account and does not require an internet connection to function.
Even though the 2-factor authentication is an effective option, it might feel inconvenient to take your smartphone and log in to the specific online service or account in your personal computer. Moreover, if you lose access to the smartphone, the process of restoring access might be complicated – it can result in a temporary lockout. Here are the Google Authenticator versions for Mac and PC
Authenticator for Chrome
Even though the Authenticator for chrome is lightweight, it is a powerful extension. It works with the supported services of Google Authenticator and provides the option of importing and exporting any linked services on which the 2Factor authentication is enabled. You can also sync data from your Google account to the authenticator for Chrome after logging in.
You also have the option of adding your online accounts to Authenticator after enabling the 2FA. It might involve a manual entry that allows you to add your Account Name and the Secret Key or the automatic importation and exportation of details that allows you to choose the QR code image that your particular service provides.
With the extension for Chrome, you can access 2factor codes for any linked accounts by simply clicking on an extension icon that is situated closer to the address bar of Chrome. You can also add your security paraphrase as a way of preventing unauthorized access to the token codes.
GAuth Authenticator (Chrome)
GAuth is a simple chrome extension, which implements the HMAC-based OTP to generate TOTP tokens. The extension for Chrome is already tested and proven to work with the 2factor Google Authenticator service. The setup process is easier, but because the extension does not have the ability of scanning QR codes, you will have to provide your Account Name and the Secret Key manually for every account.
Most services will send the secret key to you in plaintext in addition to the QR code. But if they did not send it to you separately, you will have to decode it from the offered QR code – you can use your smartphone or a QR code scanner to do that. After the decoding process, go to the Chrome Web Store and install the GAuth Authenticator extension. Launch it on your Chrome browser and then click on the “Edit” icon situated on the right corner. Click on “Add” button and enter the name of the service or account you would want to link. Proceed the secret key you decode and finally click on the “Add” button. At this stage, you should get TOTP codes for your particular account.
WinAuth for Windows
WinAuth is the shortened version of google authenticator windows. The open source, portable, RFC 6238-based HOTP windows code generator is fully compatible with the Google Authenticator. You can add multiple authenticators to the 2factor based code generator after which it will lock with different passwords. Moreover, the data will remain encrypted and locked to your account or Windows computer. You will have the chance of importing or exporting the linked account in URI Key Format in addition to your Authenticator Plus for Android.
Where should you use the 2factor authenticator?
If you are planning to enhance the security of all your online account, you should adopt the 2factor authentication. Various online services, which include the trading exchanges, banking sectors, email services, and cloud storage solutions, support the authenticator. Even more, gaming websites are implementing Google’s 2factor Authentication too.