Google Authenticator

How can I use a YubiKey authenticator without NFC?

Titan Security Key

Episode 1564

Cheryl from Palmdale, CA

Cheryl has a Motorola Moto G6, and she wants to use a YubiKey for password security. But her phone doesn't have NFC. What can she do? Leo says that she can get a Bluetooth authenticator key like YubiKey that works with Google's Authenticator app. The Google Titan Security Key is the one to get. It's $50. There's a USB and Bluetooth key for one price. So it'll work with her laptop too.

Why is my phone's battery life so bad?

LG G5

Episode 1495

Bob from San Jose, CA

Bob has an LG G5 Android phone and his battery life is really bad. He was thinking about resetting it, just in case there's something running in the background that's wearing it down. Leo says that after two years, it could be that the battery is worn out to the point that it's time to replace it. The good news is, the G5 has a removable battery. But what about his authenticators? Will they stay enabled when he resets? Leo says probably not. They may have to be reenabled.

What's the best 2-factor authentication app?

Authy

Episode 1490

Tom from St. Louis, MO

Tom heard that Authy is better than Google Authenticator. Is that true? Leo says that any authenticator will be better than no authenticator at all, especially when keeping password vaults protected. Most services offer 2 factor authentication now, but the danger there is that some SIMs can be duplicated or even hijacked with some creative social engineering. In fact, the authenticator can be re-routed. Authy sends a secret number and combines it with a time of day (hashing) that changes after 30 seconds.

Why doesn't two factor authentication work on my Gmail anymore?

Google Authenticator

Episode 1431

Saren from Los Angeles, CA

Saren hasn't been receiving the two factor authentication code he normally gets for his Gmail account. He would normally get it through his Google Voice number. Leo says it's insecure to send those two factor codes through SMS, because someone could spoof his number and get the text message. Google may have even stopped supporting SMS in favor of its Google Authenticator app.