Security for your accounts has become more advanced as hackers have become more creative. Unfortunately, with each new advancement comes new problems. Two-factor authentication is a security feature that most accounts give you the option for. It’s a combination of something you know (a password or passcode), and usually a secondary device that you have (typically your smartphone.) What happens when you lose your phone? You need to have a backup for two-factor authentication.

Why You Need a Backup for Two-Factor Authentication (“2FA”)

A perfect example of why you need a backup for two-factor authentication would be losing your smart phone. Chances are, that unless you are very lucky, you probably won’t ever see your smart device again. This also means your 2FA system is essentially broken because you don’t have the device to authenticate, and now you’re locked out of most or all of your accounts. Yikes!

Backup for Two-Factor Authentication – Google and Apple

There’s good news. With Google accounts, simply logging in and printing out the list of one-time use backup codes can save you some panic if your phone is ever stolen or misplaced. Simply click on the “Having Trouble?” link on the Google login page and follow the steps to login with a backup code and take the steps to reset your 2FA with your new device.

If you’ve got an Apple account, it’s a little different. You can add a second trusted phone number to your Apple account by logging in and adding it under the security section. Choose either text message or phone call and it will send the new phone a code, which is then entered in on the website and ready to use for backup. Simply choose the “didn’t get a verification code” option and choose which phone number on the list to send the new code to. It’s that easy!