Two-Factor Authentication For Desktops Now Offered By Authy
Two factor authentication is considered to be one of the best security measures to take to protect online accounts. On any service which supports this type of authentication, users are required to enter a onetime code to be able to access their online accounts after the password has been entered. Such codes are usually sent via email or text message and may also be generated using a smart phone app for example the Google Authenticator. A new service however which is known as the Authy has launched an app recently which gives users two factor codes on their desktop PC’s which is great if you don’t always have your smart phone with you.
The app is Chrome based which can be downloaded from the Chrome Web Store. While the desktop app makes use of Chrome as its basic infrastructure, the program runs separately from the browser by Chrome and thus has a look and feel similar to any other desktop app.
The app once downloaded from the Chrome Web Store will require users to enter an email id and mobile phone number to which Authy will send a text message to confirm your identity. Once this step is complete, you can begin to add accounts.
This type of authentication requires a secret to be shared between the app and the server. The secret is normally shared from the server to the app making use of a QR code however the desktop app by Authy can’t scan such a code unlike the smart phone. For this, a special code would have to be entered which can be found beneath the QR code which will then add an account on the desktop as well.
You can then log on to Facebook for example on your desktop and through settings-code generator-edit-set up another way to get security codes, you can type in your password again in the pop up window which comes up which will contain the QR code and secret key. Copy both of these, go to Authy and select the Add Authentication Account link at the bottom of the settings screen where you can paste the copied material and Add Account. And that is all that you need to do.
To test whether Authy works or not, close the settings window and you will see a new window containing a list of connected accounts. Select Facebook and you will see a short code; click on copy beneath it, go to Facebook and paste it into the security code box. If Facebook tells you that the code you entered worked suggests the app is working and you can use Facebook.
Other services which make use of this type of authentication support a similar system for generating security codes however the exact way depends upon each service.
You should be warned however that a number of online accounts don’t like it when more than one authenticator method is used for two factor authentication which is why you may have to stop using others and opt for Authy only for your desktop and smart phone.