The company “Google”, having monopolized the software market of a different spectrum, successfully implements many of its projects. In addition to all known types of software in the form of an email client or a search service, there are still many different projects and types of software that are extremely useful for the average user. One of these useful products is an application for mobile devices called “Google Authenticator”, which, however, has not received decent and deserved attention among consumers, such as, for example, the above-mentioned e-mail client. In this article we are talking about just this undeservedly deprived of attention to the development of the giant and the leader among software development companies “Google”.
Purpose and installation procedure
Google Authenticator is a product from the Security Tools category that implements the protection of personal data through the introduction of two-step authentication into the system. The essence of this application is as simple as possible. The user, in order to obtain authorized access to any personal information, other than the authorization data (login and password), enters a code confirming the credentials, which the user himself invented or generated earlier. Such two-step authentication allows you to stop obtaining unauthorized access, if the main authorization data were intentionally or unintentionally compromised. Of course, it is immediately worth noting that the use of this software implies a certain responsibility from the user.
Unfortunately, if you read reviews about the product in question, you can meet quite a lot of users who complain that after resetting the settings they encountered difficulties in restoring access to any network resources they need. It is in these moments that the responsibility arises, which assumes that before any intervention in the normal operation of the operating system of the mobile device, care must be taken to preserve the encryption keys and restore access. “Backup will save the world” - this statement must always be kept in mind in this information age.
Installation and initial setup
To start the installation, you will need to download "Google Authenticator" in the "Play Market" or "App Store", depending on the device and operating system. The installation procedure is automatic, as is the case with all the products available in the catalogs of the mentioned stores, so the user can only wait for the download, installation and finally to confirm the security check of the downloaded application. Further configuration procedure is also not very complex and looks like this (for example, Android OS):
- on your Android device, open Settings and go to “Google” - “Goggle Account”;
- then go to the “Security” subsection and select “Sign in to Google Account”;
- enable the “Two-step authentication” parameter and confirm the login with a Google account when entering the request;
- This can be done, for example, using a computer and a web browser, where it is enough to log in to your account and, by analogy, add additional login confirmation.
After confirming that all the manipulations were successful, you should proceed to setting up the access in question using the “Google Authenticator”, and for this you will need to do:
- go to the account settings and in the proposed options of the second stage, select “Authenticator Application”;
- select the type of phone you are using - “Android” or “iPhone”;
- in the next step, it will be proposed that the Qr code scanner scan the generated code using the application itself on the mobile device;
- open the application and select the “Add Account” section, then select “Scan Barcode” or “Enter Key”, depending on what was activated in the step above;
- finally, confirm the performed manipulations to complete the settings.
Further actions depend on the resource in which the two-factor authentication is used. For example, to log in to “gmail.com” you will need to enter the main login and password and confirm the login with the code that will be generated in the application on the mobile device. At this setting can be considered complete.
It should again repeat the responsibility that has already been mentioned before. It is assigned to each user regarding the activities to ensure the safety of their data. Taking this into account, it is necessary to take into account that the specificity of this application does not imply saving codes / passwords on any servers, since all this is stored only in the memory of the phone or tablet, which in turn leads to the impossibility of data recovery if the application is deleted or the settings will be reset to factory settings. Hence the conclusion that Google does not implement any recovery tools, and all the consequences and opportunities to gain access to a site (where two-factor authentication was previously used) are placed on the shoulders of the account owner and the network resource administration. If the functionality in question was used on sites that do not provide access to financial transactions, then it is likely that the administration will go to a meeting and upon receipt of certain evidence (screenshots, photos, RPD) will provide access to the account. Online stores or payment services are very reluctant in this case to meet, which must be taken into account.
So, “Google Authenticator” is certainly a promising development, despite the fact that it was launched back in 2010. But at the same time, it is still a rather raw product that requires mandatory modifications, in particular, to provide access to data recovery. Of course, this functionality will reduce the actual security, which Google was worried about in this product, and to some extent negates the benefits of the application, but this will increase the number of active users. But whether Google wants to sacrifice the quality of protection in this question for the number of downloads, this is already a rhetorical question, and only time will provide the answer.