The Microsoft Authenticator is an absolute must have for windows phone owners. The authenticator app is able to generate time-based one time passwords (TOTP) according to RFC 6238.

Do note that similar applications are available for other platforms.

One time passwords

One time passwords is a form of two factor autentication, and is great for securing your accounts and data. Basically it's a site specific code which must be used in addition to your username and password. The code is normally generated by an app installed on your phone or other device. This means that even if someone gains access to your username and password (or password hash) they still need a physical device with your secret.

Two factor authentication is supported by most major authentication providers, such as

  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Amazon

TOPT is not only supported by login providers, it is usefull for any system with protected services. One example is one of the DNS services I use, The fact that my domains are protected with a little more than just a password is also a good business decision, as I now prefer Gando over services without two factor authentication.

Other services:

  • Dropbox
  • GitHub (!!!)

How does it work

You will normally find settings for two factor authentication under account settings or security settings. When enabling two factor authentication, you will be presented with a QR code. Open the authenticator app, click the plus sign, enter an account name, click the camera button and scan the qr code. Viola!

You will most likely have to type in code from your newly added account in order to verify successfull setop on your phone.

These are some of the accounts I have configured on my phone.