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Two Factor Authentication - Google Authenticator code generator configuration & usage

Once your Google Authenticator code generator applications have been installed, you also need to configure them to start using them. As we are targetting Joomla 2 Factor Authentication, we will focus on this topic but the configuration & usage of these apps can be far wider than only logging in into a Joomla site using 2 Factor Authentication.

We will explain configuration & usage for

For Google Authenticator (Android)

  1. Open up your Google Authenticator app on your Andriod device
  2. Tick on the dots on the right upper corner of your screen
  3. Select the Account Setup option (1st option in the dropdown menu)

    2 Factor Authentication - Google Authenticator Step 1

  4. Select the option "Scan barcode" and direct your device towards the screen where you see the QR code (see screenshot above - taken from a Joomla site while setting up 2 Factor Authentication). The application will automatically add the account and will generate the necessary code every time you open up the app.

    2 Factor Authentication - Google Authenticator Setp 2   2 Factor Authentication - Google Authenticator Step 3

  5. Now the new site has been added to your list and you're ready to use it.
  6. If you need to use it later on to generate the secret key for your site to log in, just start the app on your Android device. It will show all your secret keys for all sites of the list, just pick the right one and fill the key in the field of the site.

For WinAuth (Windows)

  1. At the left bottom part of the application, add an entry by clicking and choosing the "Authenticator" option

    2 Factor Authentication - WinAuth Step 1

  2. A new screen shows up. Rename the entry and add the secret code you got in the site where you are setting up 2 Factor Authentication (this will be a sequence of 16 characters).
    Click on the button "Verify Authenticator"

    2 Factor Authentication - WinAuth Step 2

  3. Fill the verification code you see (here 792 349 - but it will of course be different in your situation) in the field of the site where you are setting up 2 Factor Authentication. In most cases, you will need to click the Save-button before your verification code really gets taken by the site. Click the save button fast enough (well, within 30 seconds), otherwise the verification code will have been changed and you will need to re-enter the new code which will be generated within your WinAuth application.

    Underneath, I have included a verification screen for a Joomla site which is of course the focus of this explanation, but you can do a similar process on almost all sites using 2 Factor Authentication with Google Authenticator.

    2 Factor Authentication - WinAuth Step 3

  4. Your 2 Factor Authentication is set up on your windows machine
  5. If you need your secret key, just lauch the application and press on the reload-symbol on the right side of the application. You just need to press the reload-button for the site where you would like to log in, there's no need to reveal all keys for all sites you have in your list.

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