Posts Tagged ‘Authentication’

Installing Google Authenticator on CentOS

After a conversation at work about how easy it is to use Google Authenticator for two-factor authentication, I decided that installing Google Authenticator on my CentOS server would be my next project. After all, I had recently automated download of website log files, and I needed to find the next to-do at home. Installing Google Authenticator took a morning and was not instantaneous, but it was simple enough as you will see below.

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DropBox Two-Factor Authentication

DropBox is cool. I use it to keep my many computers in sync. This includes keeping my password manager master safe file in sync (you all use password managers, right?) Even though that file is encrypted with a good encryption algorithm, it’s still a file I would like to protect. I used a pretty strong password on my DropBox account, but it’s still just a password.

Fortunately, though, DropBox now supports two-factor authentication. If you have a Google account, and you use Google’s two-factor authentication (like you should!), it’s incredibly easy to add, because it works with Google Authenticator. Just enable two-factor in DropBox, go to Google Authenticator on your phone, add new account, scan the barcode, and done.

Hopefully, this means that two-factor authentication is becoming more mainstream. I’ll be a lot happier when Facebook supports it, but for now, DropBox support is fantastic.

Passwords, Authentication, and Privilege

Gizmodo has decreed that today, February 1st, is “Change Your Password” day. I wholeheartedly agree, especially if you re-used passwords (which you shouldn’t!). In fact, I’d go further: change your password, and start using a password manager. Did I changed my passwords today? I did not, because I used said password manager. I don’t reuse passwords, and my passwords are all random. So even if one is revealed, it’s not going to make a difference outside of that one website.

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Google Two-Factor Authentication

Google has recently enabled two-factor authentication for Google products like Gmail. What is two-factor authentication? It means that in addition to providing your password, you need to provide a random verification number that Google will send to your phone, either via an app, a text message, or an actual phone call. Thus, to log in, you need two things: a password and your phone. With only one or the other, you can’t get it. This is much stronger than a password alone, which is why some banks have been moving to two-factor authentication for customers. Google’s decision to enable it for email, and for just about everybody with an account, is certainly groundbreaking.

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