Tech Tips for Non-Tech People!

Data Doctors Tech Tips | Ken Colburn & Brandon Disney
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Original Air Date: Aug 18, 2014

2-factor Backup Codes

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If you recently turned on 2-factor authentication to protect your online accounts, there’s an additional step you should make if you travel a lot.

2-factor authentication prevents unauthorized users from accessing your account by sending you a text message whenever an unfamiliar device attempts to use your password.

If you’re on a flight that has wifi and you attempt to access your account, your phone can’t get text messages, so you won’t be able to get in without a backup code.

It may not be a big deal for things like Facebook or Twitter, but e-mail is a different story especially if you’re a business traveler.

Go back to where you setup 2-factor in all your accounts and search for backup codes or something that talks about what to do if you don’t have your phone.

Most sites will generate 10 temporary one-time use codes that you should copy and store somewhere in your travel gear.

You can also store them in a password protected text file on your phone or computer or an unlabeled piece of paper in your wallet or purse.

I’ve got links for many of the major sites posted at





Or search “2-factor backup codes for XXXX” where XXXX is the name of the online service