If you’ve used two-factor authentication before, you’ve probably heard of tools like Google Authenticator. To use many of these services, you must have your phone nearby. Fortunately, there are desktop authenticator apps that can provide you with the secret key you need to log into your account. Below are the best authenticator apps for Linux desktop.
Yubico provides tokens for multi-factor authentication. It supports all services currently compatible with other authenticator apps, including Google Authenticator.
Yubico works with a hardware security token called Yubikey. You can store your credentials on it rather than on your device. This hardware security token can even be made more secure by choosing to unlock it with FaceID or TouchID.
With Yubico, you will also be able to easily switch between devices, even after upgrading. The Yubico app allows you to generate multiple secrets on all devices, which allows you to easily change.
I have to admit that the security offered by a physical token like the Yubikey is excellent. However, users should keep in mind that they must have the key with them if they want to use two-factor authentication. I know you can chat and say it’s no better than having to carry a phone with you. However, you can’t put your phone on a keychain! In addition, it is difficult to break a material token. Someone would have to steal it from you if they wanted to access your data. Even after doing that, they still won’t know any of your passwords or anything else.
With Yubico Authenticator, you must first insert your key before you can add services to the app. After inserting your key, you can add a security token from a service for which you want to enable two-factor authentication. This is more of an app for power users because of the steps to set it up.
Yubico is available in the Snap Store, so you can easily install it with a command like:
Authy is one of the top rated authenticator apps. It is available on a number of platforms, including Linux. You can install Authy from the Snap Store, and it is also available in most repositories.
For example, you can use the app with the fingerprint scanners of devices that have it. You can also back up your Authy data to Authy’s secure cloud. This means that you will be able to access your data even if you lose your phone. You can sync your authentication data across different devices so that you can generate two-factor authentication tokens for your services, no matter what device you use.
Authy protects your data by doing things like encrypting your authentication data and not storing your passwords on its servers. It also generates a token directly on your device to avoid any security issues with text messages and voice options.
Authy’s configuration is simple. Just go to the service you want to use Authy with and generate a secret key. You can’t scan barcodes, but then again, depending on the type of computer you’re using, barcode scanning won’t be practical anyway.
While Authy does a good job of protecting your data, I don’t like the fact that your account is tied to your phone number. For me this is going to create a problem every time you change your number. Authy is warning us of this, but I would prefer the account to be linked to an email address.
Now that you have access to an authenticator app on your desktop, it’s time to enable two-factor authentication on your online accounts, like your social media accounts, Google, or Firefox.
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