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How to Retrieve Authy in Case of Lost Phone

Alessio has an experience as a Google Product Expert and as a bug hunter, having reported security vulnerabilities to Google and Apple.

There are several safety rules for the best protection of the accounts we use every day to access online services. Using secure and unique passwords for each user is the most suitable recommendation everyone can follow. Nevertheless, this is not the only precaution to better protect our digital life. There are various ways to significantly improve our online security, such as generating unique email addresses for each account or enabling multi-factor authentication, whenever available.

What Is Multi-Factor Authentication?

Access to online accounts generally requires a username or email address, in addition to a password, when logging in. The most evident vulnerability of this access methodology lies in the fact only two pieces of information are required, which are always known. Using very secure passwords reduces this vulnerability, but if someone leaks the login details, they can access our account without problems. A keylogger not detected by our anti-malware software and installed inadvertently may be enough to put us at risk, even if it is a minimum risk (especially for those who are very cautious in online browsing). In this case, to significantly improve the security of our digital life and minimize the risk of compromising our accounts, the third form of authentication may be helpful: this is why multi-factor authentication exists.

Multi-factor authentication provides the same level of safety a key can ensure on a physical door lock: just like the key, OTPs and physical tokens are something eventual attackers can't have in their hand, unlike usernames and passwords.

Multi-factor authentication provides the same level of safety a key can ensure on a physical door lock: just like the key, OTPs and physical tokens are something eventual attackers can't have in their hand, unlike usernames and passwords.

Multi-factor authentication involves entering a temporary password sent via SMS or generated via an app, in addition to the correct username and password. Alternatively, you can even authenticate using a physical hardware token (a real digital key to access your accounts) or by approving access from an already authorized and trusted device. In the event of a breach of your access data, it will not be possible to access your account without the temporary password or the physical token, all elements only the legitimate owner can have.

Generating OTPs With Authy

There are several free apps to generate temporary codes for multi-factor authentication without the need to receive them via SMS. Authy is one of the most widespread and appreciated apps, both for its ease of use and for its automatic backup system in the cloud that allows users to recover generation tokens at any time in case they need to change their smartphone.

Authy is like a digital vault for keeping all the tokens you need to generate OTPs for your accounts protected by multi-factor authentication.

Authy is like a digital vault for keeping all the tokens you need to generate OTPs for your accounts protected by multi-factor authentication.

Why Recovering Authy Tokens Is Important

The importance of Authy's automatic backup to the cloud of your code generation tokens is that, in addition to allowing easy transfer of the app from one phone to another, it also makes it possible to get back access to your accounts in case of emergency. In case of loss, breakage, or theft of your smartphone, missing an automatic backup to be recovered in an emergency on a new device means no longer being able to access your accounts, unless you have activated other multi-factor authentication options. Authy considerably reduces this risk and simplifies the procedures to be followed to get back into possession of your accounts when you no longer have your smartphone at hand.

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How To Retrieve Authy Backup on a New Phone

Getting back access to your Authy account and your OTPs also on a new phone is a quick task, thanks to the particular attention the developers of the app have put into the cloud backup feature.

These are the passages to follow:

1. Install Authy on the new phone.

You can find the app in any major app store for Android or iOS.

2. If you are asked for it, proceed with verification of your Authy account.

This passage involves asking Authy team to verify your account information before being able to get back access to all your tokens. If you managed to recover your phone number, the process will take up to 24 hours to get back to your tokens, after having followed this official link:

  • RECOVER ACCESS TO AUTHY
    IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ACCESS AUTHY ON ANY DEVICE BUT YOU STILL HAVE ACCESS TO THE PHONE NUMBER YOU USE FOR AUTHY, ENTER YOUR PHONE NUMBER BELOW.

3. Login to Authy

After having installed the app and having undergone the Authy review process, you will be asked for your phone number the first time you open the app. This passage is crucial because if it is the first time you enter your number, it will create a new account. If you have already registered for an account with Authy, you will get back to it, with all your OTP.

4. Enjoy using Authy on your new device.

Conclusions

As one can see, recovering an Authy account is very easy, as all our tokens are stored and Authy allows its users to get back to their accounts even on new devices, after having reviewed them. The easiest way to keep access to Authy account is still having at least two devices with the app installed so that one is always available in case you need to recover your tokens. Despite this, Authy made it easy to re-gain access even if you lose your unique phone with one copy of the app installed. There may be more difficulties in case you lost your phone and cannot even manage to get back your original phone number: in this case, you will need to directly contact the Authy support team, as it may be still possible to get back your tokens, but a longer and more detailed verification of your identity will be required. Of course, one last recommendation to follow from the beginning is always to check that automatic backup is enabled so that all the efforts to gain back access to your Authy account will not be in vain.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2022 Alessio Ganci

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