That's why we invite everyone to use 2-factor authentication (2FA) for Google Accounts.
For the uninitiated, this is a simple step in which you introduce a second level of security. It can be an audit by SMS or an audit call. So, if someone tries to access your account, the last key to your account control stays in your hands.
As for Google's two-factor authentication, it offers two default methods: a prompt on your secondary device and SMS. When you want to login to your account, enter the password and wait for the prompt. Tap on it and you're done!
However, this may not work as expected. For example, if you do not have access to text messages or calls, you may not be able to sign in to your account. Or worse, if your main device is stolen.
In such circumstances, Google's backup codes can serve as a real backup to save the day.
What are Google 2FA Backup Codes?
Google 2FA Backup Codes are a string of numbers used to authenticate your account when you can not access your verification codes. Google generates a total of 10 codes at a time and wants you to store them in a secure location, which you can visit at your convenience.
You can also generate a second batch of numbers if you feel that the first batch has something fishy.
How to configure Google 2FA backup codes
Step 1: Sign in to your main Google Account and access Google's 2-step verification.
Once inside, press the Start button. If you have already defined 2FA, the date appears at the top.
Apart from that, you will also see the other existing 2FA methods for your account. In my case, I had already enabled Google's prompt and SMS verification.
Step 3: Then scroll down until you see the option for the backup codes. Tap Configure, and you'll be greeted with a bunch of random numbers.
Step 4: Now all you have to do is click the Download button, and the numbers will be downloaded to a text file in the Downloads folder on your PC.
To generate a new batch of numbers, press the Get New Codes button and a new set of numbers will greet you.
How to use Google 2FA without a phone
Step 1: The next time you find yourself in a situation where you can not use the default Google prompt or the SMS verification method, do not panic. Simply log in to your account and click on the Try button in another way.
2nd step: You will see all the enabled methods listed on the login page. As you may have already guessed, you need to click on the 8 digit save codes option.
Enter one of the codes from the list you downloaded previously, and that's it. If the code is correct, you can log into the account quickly.
Once the code is used, Google 2FA will delete the code. However, these codes are your passwords and you must make sure to store them in the same way that you would protect your passwords.
How to save Google 2FA codes
1. Google Keep
If your phone allows you to lock your applications with a fingerprint, you can keep all the codes under your key in a backup file. And to make it go higher, check one box for each entry so you can easily check the codes used.
Again, you should only use it when the application in question can be locked (and opened only by you).
2. Password Manager: DashLane
Password managers like Dashlane come with a secure vault where you can store keys, passwords and codes securely. Under the name Secure Notes, this feature stores these keys and codes as your passwords.
To access Secure Notes, open the Web application, open the left menu, and tap the Secure Notes option. That's all.
At the same time, be sure to protect the password manager with a strong password.
3. Write them down
I know, you should not write passwords. But sometimes the electronics may fail and you may not have access to your password manager or your task application.
And that's where a physical copy comes to your rescue. Be sure to store it in a suitable place.
The data is the new currency
Lately, the expression has become popular – the data is the new currency. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to protect it with a second layer of security, which means two-factor authentication. At the same time, you should also make sure that you are not in the dark in case of 2FA failure. In times like these, backup codes must come to your rescue.
Then: Looking to increase the security of your account? Read the following post to discover some of the best 2FA apps available.